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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  January 12, 2010 1:00pm-5:00pm EST

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money using the trust fund money to pay for these highway, road projects, bridges projects, which is for 2010 only. and do the five-year bill after that. hopefully the states can do their matching funds and we can get people back working with not just construction but the spinoff industries with it. so it's a one-year program. .
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so expensive that no one can afford it. afford it. when we are looking at it, they pay more for every car they make -- they pay more for hea you see that in every product there is. the cost has driven the cost of all products, health care has driven the cost so much it's hurt us locally, it hurts our families, nationally, competitively, internationally, the cost of health care. it's a critical part. everything we do health care has a role. this health care bill that we have passed in the house and senate has passed their version is probably, my 18th year in the congress, it's probably the one bill i ever worked on that affects everybody. it's going to affect every one of us as health care affects every one of us. from your first breath to your last breath, health care is there. what we find we are all just
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really, really, you don't have -- even with good health insurance, you are one illness or one bankruptcy or one disease away from bankruptcy. health care is a major part. so i want to spend a little time on it tonight. we'll get into questions. let me -- the goal of health care is to have quality, affordable, accessible health care for all americans. before we go much further, let me also take a minute and thank the men and women and the family of the 1431 stafford humvee of the engineer battalion. they just came back from affling after spending a year there. they were in iraqi freedom. now they came back after a year in afghanistan. no matter what you think of the wars or how it is, we owe those men and women, their families a great debt of gratitude. to show you the professionalism of the soldiers we have that come out of copper country here and in northern michigan, just
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give you some idea of the numerous military accolades the company earned in their 231 missions that they performed over in afghanistan. they include 10 army commendation medals of valor. 94 combat action badges. 26 bronze stars. and more than 34 purple hearts. these are all testments of the courageous efforts that these people made on our behalf. they didn't ask about the politics of the war. they are part of our military. they did t we owe them a great debt of gratitude. i hope you'll join me in a round of applause for those men and women who are serving. [applause] while they are deployed they need health care. and all americans i believe should have health care. so let's get into the health care legislation. let me do this power point.
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let me go through it. it's about a 20-minute slide. start off being only 19 slides. now that we have had -- go through the committee, through the house, through the senate it's now up to 39 slides. some of them -- i'll go through pretty quick. if you have any questions can i go back and try to answer them. working towards affordable health. that's my district. we are about 600 miles. one of the largest congressional districts in the united states. some people said you haven't done enough town hall meetings on this since april 2 we have concentrated most of our town hall meetings, conferences on health care. everything from indian river to wmmu when we did simultaneous radio and tv in september. below the bridge. all the way through january 7 up here in houghton. we do these telephone town hall meetings. first week in february, probably the first wednesday are the next one.
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you can sign up to be on it. fill out the orange card. we'll get you on those calls. as know, i'm chairman of oversight and investigations of the energy and commerce committee. i'm starting my fourth year of investigation into the insurance industry. interest i have always had but underneath our charge of our committee these are some of the hearings we had. medicare advantage which you'll hear about tonight. predatory sales practice. may 15, 2008, we did nursing home standards. we passed the nursing home standard law 25 years ago. never had a hearing on it. we had the first one. long-term care insurance, our consumers -- are consumers protected? june 16, termination of individual health insurance policies. you buy an individual family polcy, you fill out an application, right? we had two hearings on this. our investigation took us about 18 months into this. when you fill out your insurance policy, there's most insurance companies have about 1,400 different codes.
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you go to the local drugstore you fill out your prescription, you run it through the insurance company. if you trigger one of those 1,00 codes, they'll probably go through and review your policy because what this code triggered was it might be very expensive medical treatment you'll face in the future and therefore they are going to dump you off your insurance if they can and they do it under thing called rescission. for instance, one family, the agent, as they are billing filling out the form, he was like 180 pounds, he was 250. the agent said you put down 180. when he got seriously ill, they dumped him. why? they said he lied on his application. when you get terminate interested your health insurance policy, who do you appeal to? the health insurance company that just dumped you. you don't any areal rights. that's what the rescission is. termination. can i go on and on about stories about people. we had to get the attorney general of illinois intervene as
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he was getting ready for a bone marrow transplant because he had kidney stones that had nothing to do with cancer. all kinds of things. couple hearings on that. october 15, you'll see when we talk about bankruptcy, most people who file bankruptcy is because of medical reasons. most people file bankruptcy because of medical reasons have health insurance. their health insurance doesn't cover anything. they are underinsured. it doesn't covering anything if you get sick. the high cost of small business. businesses have told us repeatedly the number one concern is they have good, quality dedicated employees, they would like to provide insurance. you can't drop them. they raise their rates so high they can't afford it. it's called purging. they purge them that way. it doesn't do an employer any good to have a good solid employee who has to leave the company because they can no longer afford the insurance and they need the insurance for the family and they leave. they have to train someone else. the number one issue is health insurance for the employees.
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these are some of the hearings we had. the house bill 3962, portable health care for america act. health care crisis as i said in michigan, look at it. the annual premiums from 2000 to 2007 rose 78.2%. your wages during that same period of time went up 4.6%. when i said you can't afford it, government can't afford it, businesses can't afford it. you can't keep up at 78%. increase over seven years when your wage has only gone up 4.6%. the average family health insurance policy now $13,375. the immediate number income in the first congressional district, our district here, $38,771. so if you had to pay $13,375. that's about 34% of your income. before taxes, before cars. they price themselves out of market. american journal of medicine reported that 62% of all bankruptcies in 2007 were related to medical expenses.
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a part that shocked me was 78% of these people had health insurance. they thought they had coverage. they thought they were fine. they didn't think they would be in bankruptcy. as i said one illness, one accident away from bankruptcy. the average family policy, you pay an extra $1,000 each year. $1,017 in premiums. according to a study by harvard, seen this one before, nearly 45,000 americans die. one every 12 minutes because they lack health insurance and access to medical care. i'm not saying they are dying from catastrophic injuries or illnesses, i'll saying if they got health care they would have gotten treatment and still be with us. energy and commerce committee, we are the main committee that has jurisdiction on on health care in the house of representatives. we worked on this right after the first of the year, this bill, 3200, introduced on june 19. for one month all the interest groups and everybody, it was on the internet, took shots at it.
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make improvements. do this, do that. we started on july 14. we amended it. that was another bill put on the internet. then we started our committee markup. full committee. what i mean by markup, that means that's the amendment process. we are all in committee. we start 8:00 in the morning. sometimes we got done 1:00, 2:00 at night. we went through basically two weeks, even though we didn't meet, we were still meeting in small groups. votes were taken where the committee was actually convened july 16, 17, 20, 31. on july 31, about 10:00 that night, we still had 55 more amendments to go. congress had recessed for august. we were still in committee working. the chairman made an agreement with the republicans and basically said, let's make -- take a report or let's do a vote on a bill. let's report it out favorably to the floor. we'll come back in september and do the last 55 amendments. i do -- did not vote for a bill. how do you vote for a bill
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that's not done? how do you vote to favorably recommend the house of representatives if you are not done with your work. i voted no with that an a number of other reasons. one of the few democrats that voted no on the proposal. came back december 23. they finished up the amendment. on october 29, they combined a couple bills, 3200 into another one that became 3962. last changes were made. the vote was held on november . the vote in the house floor on 3962 was 220-215. i voted for the final bill in the house of representatives. not without some catastrophe as you know. -- controversy as you know. here are my concerns with the bill. before when i was doing these power points, those boxes weren't checked, they were blanks because when it came to my committee here's what i thought the committee fell short. did not do enough control in rising health care costs. i said the quality those on the system that rewards quantity of
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procedures rather than quality. i think we got to go to quality as opposed to quantity. competition, we didn't do enough to encourage true competition. and the abortion issue as you know, i had an amendment in the bill that was reported out of committee, allows for the first time in decade public funding of abortion. i'll go back and get on that more. those were my concerns when it came out of committee. after september, october, november. those were all met. i felt met in the house bill. i voted for the bill on november . the goals of health care improving quality, efficiency, controlling costs, accessibility, affordability, shared responsibilities, work force investments. what does health care reform bill do to accomplish the goals? we have a health insurance exchange. what is it? basically allows you to go on the computer and look at the programs approved, health
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insurance plans approved, you pick whatever option is best for you and your family. what meets your individual decision. government's not going to pick the insurance policy for you. you have a right to do t we have a marketplace for individuals and business to purchase their in-- insurance. every package approved for sale you would have access to within five year passage of the bill, must have an essential benefit package. that's a minimum coverage. now, that would be the essential benefits package. from those plans, you got the basic one, get your basic plan, there would be an enhanced plan, premium plan, premium plan. ok. basic one, low premiums, high deductible, just like you see now. premium plus, everything under the sun. high premium, maybe a lower deductible. what does the health care reform bill do to protect consumers? i said we spent four years working on this issue. i'm in my fourth year of doing this. prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against
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pre-existing conditions. all the plans they would not be able to discriminate against you based on pre-existing injury or illness. you prohibit insurance companies from rescinding policy except in the case of fraud. they can no longer trigger your application and say, oh, he lied about his weight, therefore we kick him off. the only weigh way they can do it is intentional fraud. you don't appeal to the insurance company that kicked you off the policy. we take away the lifetime caps on benefits. most policies are limited to about half a million or maybe a million. dollars a year. that's funny, serious accidents, serious illness it is not. we limit the out-of-pocket ex-- expenses. in the house bill it's $,000 and 8 thod. the most a family would have to pay $8,000. individual, $4,000. that's the most out of pocket. all of these provisions take effect immediately. if the house and senate come to
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an agreement and if they pass a bill tomorrow and president obama signed this tomorrow, all of these provisions start immediately. plus two more provisions. immediate health for the uninsured. in the house bill, the bill, the main provisions don't start until january of 2013. in the meantime we have a temporary insurance program, those who are uninsured, who have been sick, or don't have a policy because they are denied based on a pre-existing injury, you are going to insure you trite there, catastrophic funds. they asked for that. we are here at michigan tech. most of you know if you have a policy you have a son or daughter going to college, they are on your policy until 22. four years of college, they drop you. we say no, leave them on until their 27th birthday. immediately we start increase investing training new doctors. you bringing 34 million people into health insurance, health
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care system, you are going to need doctors, nurses, professionals. we start that before 2013. again, that's only if a bill is passed. public option, the house has a public option, the senate does not. what is public option? a government-sponsored nonprofit health care plan. what is it? basically medicare. how do you pay for medicare? every one of us under 65, are you working, even if you are over 65 and working, there is a payroll deduction for fica, sths and medicare. if you are 65, part b, that's a premium you pay. what we do with the public option, it will be a plan that will be available. how do you pay for it? through payroll taxes and monthly premiums. very similar to medicare. we are not going to put much money into it to compete against the insurance companies. whether it exists will depend on whether people participate in the public option. it has to be self-funded. it has to have the same
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financially solvent requirement. and it's going only going to exist as long as americans want to access it. if you don't want to use it, don't use it. benefits for first district. 50,000 uninsured individuals in this congressional district. 160,000 people in this congressional district. 50,000 do not have insurance. underneath the house bill, 17,900 small businesses are eligible for tax credits. in michigan in this congressional disfrict, 11,le00 seniors avoid the doughnut hole. they passed a drug benefit plan, part d medicare, 2003,dy not vote for it. i thought it was a give away to the pharmaceutical industry. basically senior citizens, what they do, they paid their preyum, once you hit $2,500, you go into the doughnut hole. are you still paying for your premium, monthly prescription drug premium, but once you hit $2,500 you got to take the money for your prescription out of the
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pocket. once you hit, $5,700, you come out and get picked up again. most seniors who hit the doughnut hole hit it about june or july. they go back in about november, december. you have three or four months there you are paying for an insurance policy that gives you no coverage norks benefit but you still are a premium. it is done to keep the cost affordable. they dropped you out of the system for a while even though you continue to pay for your premiums. didn't make sense. we are going to close that doughnut hole. as we got -- almost 12,000 seniors in that situation right now, in our district, we figured 1,100 families would avoid bankruptcy. i see jim from the hospital. ask him how much he has in uncompensated care. ask any medical doctor how much they get in the uncompensated care. they would at least get something on the $185 million in
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uncompensated care. myths versus facts. there is no death panel. we are not pulling the plug on grandma. no one is going to tell you, even aarp, who endorsed the bill, it's a cruel distortion. it's nonsense. there is no death panel. illegal immigrants, this is the exact language in the house bill, section 347. no federal payments for undocumented aliens. there is the section. plus, section 1786, known as the space amendment, zach space out of ohio, prohibits medicaid, the children's health program, they expanded it not for illegal immigrants. manager's amendment, 3962 on the floor, we had further protections and verification of citizenship or being lawfully here in this country. three different ways we address it in the bill. ok, everyone says you are going to force me into a government sponsored health care plan. no one is being force food
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anything. it's your choice. you decide what you want. if there's one thing i leave with you, public health insurance, the plan underneath the house plan, i'm talking about the house plan, you have the option. you do the choosing. i'm not choosing it. no federal employee will choose it for you. you choose what's best for you. choose between private insurers or public option. public option is driving competition, it's going to be another option you have. they are saying we don't want government sponsored. most have government sponsored health care. according to the senate it's 60%. what i can come up with is about 40% to 44% of the american people. medicare, medicaid. department of defense, federal employees, indian health care, children's health initiative. that's all government sponsored health care. the v.a. system of the government-sponsored health care. tricare, government-offered sponsored health care. that's what it is. it isn't this big mysterious plan they are going to swallow
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us up. so, how are members of congress affected? one senator said we should be part of this plan. members of congress are treated like everybody else. members of congress are not offered a separate cadillac deduction plan. if you are a fish and wildlife, you work forest service, you have the same opportunity for health care as a federal employee as i do as a member of congress. and you pick the plan that's best for you. there is no special plan for members of congress. there are 4,600 federal workers in northern michigan, they have the same options that i have. will i go to jail if i have health insurance? no. underneath the health bill everyone has to have health insurance either through your employer or go into the exchange. these are your public option. if you don't say, fine, i am neat taking your insurance, not doing t. i'm not going to do it, ok we'll take 2.5% out of your payroll to help pay for health insurance.
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the health care system still has to be there even if you're not sick. even if i'm 23 years old and healthy, don't worry about getting sick, you expect that ambulance to be there. you expect the hospital to be there. you expect the doctor to be there. you got pay for it. this is health care. we are all in this together. it's 2.5%. because it's tied into an i.r.s. because it's a payroll i.r.s., there is in rare circumstances when you defraud the i.r.s. you could get jail time. no one's going to go to jail for not having health insurance. there was a section ever law it was written under, you are not going to jail if you don't have health insurance. you are not going to jail. myth versus facts k. we afford it? any health care reform must be paid for and not add to the deficit. when the president addressed the nation on september 9 said the same thing. we are not going to take money from the federal treasury. we are not going to take tax dollars to create insurance companies or put money into insurance so everyone has t based on your premiums like medicare.
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payroll taxes and your monthly premiums. in the house bill, house and senate really differs here. the house bill we have a surcharge called the millionaire tax. 270 households in the first congressional district, either the individual of that household makes more than a half million, or the family makes more than a million there is a surcharge. so 99.91% of you will not have to worry about that. that's how we pay part of it. we squeeze out inefficiencies will' get into more. waste, fraud, and abuse. long-term savings with prevent wellness and changing how we pay for health care. let me explain that because it explains the inefficiencies and how you come up with about $500 billion in savings in medicare over 10 years. what happens in medicare? you cut my medicare. we are not cutting your medicare. the house bill we are preserving medicare. you still go to your same doctor, same hospital. the only differences are we eliminate the co-pays and
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deductibles for preventive care. diabetes, prostate, bone density, mammograms, we want to pay for it. we want you to get them. if you have prostate cancer there is a 95% chance of cure rate if we catch it early. if we catch it early we'll be saving money in the long run. you are healthier. taxpayers save money in the long run. we extend the solvency by at least five years. medicare trust fund, remember that doughnut hole? as soon as the president signs the bill, the house version, $500, doughnut hole starts at $3,000 as opposed to $2,500. we fill it in by 2016. medicare, one reason why i didn't vote for the bill, the largest consumer, purchaser of drugs in the country is the federal government for medicare and medicaid, department of defense, v.a. we can't use our purchasing power. your purchasing power to get a better deal on drugs.
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it's against the law in the 2003. crazy provision. we change it. lower cost of prescription drugs. you know if you use that you probably lower the cost of your prescription drug, the average wholesale price you could lower by 40% if you come together and you purchase -- use the purchasing power. here's what i mean about changing and getting inefficiencies out of medicare. early spring a group of us came together led by bruce braillely out of iowa, ron kind out of wisconsin, i was part, there were 30, 40 of us, we said traditional way we pay for health care is every time you get a test, there is a bill. every time you see a doctor there's a bill. every time you do something there's a bill. built into those bills are all kinds of administrative costs. what we found in our work in energy and commerce committee and others, that you're in miami, florida, every medicare recipient the average payment
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for the medicare reimbursement in miami, florida, is $16,000. in the upper peninsula of michigan it's $6,100. is the health care better in massachusetts, floridas, it's worth 16,000 as opposed to, $6,100 in marquette? we don't think so. we think the emphasis on health care should you be getting better. you get treated. you get care. quality outcome not how many doctors you see, not how many tests are run. we want to get away from these testing and quantities and go to quality. if i'm being treated for diabetes. does it make a difference how many times you poke me? the end result is am i better? that should be the true test. it's going to take us three years to do it. the first year, regional disparities, i'll get to. reimbursement will be paced on quality not quantity.
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>> the difference in the united states, the upper midwest, minnesota, upper peninsula, light green, the lowest cost, orange is yellow. that's the highest cost. these were the states that taught us the -- fought us the most that tried to change the system. this is the drastic change for the way you reimburse health care in this contry. here's the graph. here's you average. medicare, you're on medicare, what is paid out per year on average nationwide is green line, $8 kgs 8,300. the lowest is honolulu, hi, $5,300. the highest, miami, florida, $16,351.
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[no audio] >> sorry about that. my district alone, first congressional distrimmingt, marquette, you get reimbursed per medicare recipient, health care providers, $6,100. tra vs. city, $,600. there's the national average, go to saginaw, part of my district is this area, they get reimbursed, almost $8,600. if i threw detroit in there, $10,000. why the difference? is health care any better in saginaw at $,500 as opposed to marquette at $,100?
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are you any healthier at $6,100 than in miami at $16,000? i don't think. those are inefficiencies that bu we'll address the quality not the quantity. how will small businesses be impacted? less than 5 employees, how do you figure those, what you have to pay is your number of employees and the average wage of employers and it aallows you to purchase through a health exchange, public option, private. improved productivity, keeping your workers. when i said depends on your number of employees, and your payroll, i'm not talking about your -- i'm talking about the payroll tax. if aim he a small businessperson. i can't afford health insurance for my employees, if my pay roll is $8 hks -- $670,000 and i'm not providing my employees with
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health insurance, i would have to pay a 4% payroll tax. the employer. not the employee. ok. there's tax credits. this is the rule of thumb, two, four, six, waite, that's the most. my payroll is more than $750,000 a year, the most i pay is 8% payroll tax. some businesses make out, others do not. you got to do the math. proceeds from this go in to offset portability credits. most businesses that choose to offer insurance where we see tax credits to offset the cost. veterans, they say we like our system, we don't want a changed. i'm retired from the military. aim note on medicare. i got tricare. the only one exempt out of this plan is veterans. tricare, v.a. system stays the same. if i'm a veteran i want to go
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into a public option or another plan, can i do it, but you are not forced into it. the pitts amendment, i'll take a minute to explain this. as you know for 20 years whether aim in the statehouse or u.s. congress, i have been pro-life. we have worked out issues. since i am and ott health committee, this time there was no room to maneuver. no one was really to negotiate past a certain point. here's what happened. july 303,1, i warned my colleagues throughout the whole thing, i'm also co-chair of the congressional right to life caucus, don't bring abortion up. we are talking health care, let's do health care. let's focus on health care. leave abortion alone. it's a divisive issue. leave it out of this thing. so during committee, lois capps
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from california offered an amendment which said this, i did not inject abortion into health, the capps amendment did. first of all abortion will be a recognized underneath the health care bill. if you are in a public option, man or woman, you have to pay $1 per month into a fund with reproductive rights which include abortion language. in the exchange, at least one plan could be more. at least one plan must have abortion coverage. you can use your federal subsidies, tax credit, whatever you call it, subsidy to pay for abortion. that is completely against current i law. the hyde language is this, we do not use federal funding to pay for abortion or insurance policies that provide abortion. that's current law. capps amendment passed by like one or two votes. after capps passed, i pulled my amendment out of pocket which
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said, strike the capps language g. back to original law norks public funding for abortion, no federal subsidies for abortion in the health care bill. we passed that. it passed. 31-27. chairman waxman switched his vote and will call for a revote later. 9:00, 10:00 at night, got the rest of demmeds democrats there, revote, we lost 30-29. that's how the issue for health care. we didn't want to make it an issue. we thought at the wee could do it without making an issue. that's what happened. we had the bill with portion language in there which i objected. many members of the house objected. we wrote letters repeatedly asking the speaker to give us an up or down vote on the health care bill. if you did not give us an up or down vote on abortion in the health care bill, it would not support the bill coming to the floor. you have to have a rule to bring a bill to the floor. need 218 votes to do that.
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a my mother-in-law died, went in with the speaker, went to the pro-choice caucus, where abortion would not be an issue. everybody shook hands. speaker called me an hour and a half later said deal's off. pro-choice caucus says we'll defee feet the stupak amendment. let him bring it to the floor. it will never pass. i testified at rules committee at 1:00 in the morning for my amendment. i didn't know whether or not my amendment would be made in order. the next morning, saturday morning, got up, 8:00, sure enough my amendment was in order. the only amendment allowed in health care. went to the house floor, everybody was calling press conferences. saying i would lose. we passed it. 240-194. it was bipartisan. democrats and republicans voted for it. 64 democrats voted for it. of the of 4 democrats that voted for amendment also voted for health care. the only reason you passed
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health care in the house is because pro-life democrats voted for it. only after the amendment passed. the health care, public health care option would not be allowed to cover abortion and federal affordability credit, tax credits cannot be used to pay for abortion. that's what the amendment says. doesn't say any more. doesn't take away your right to choose. all it says the federal government is not going to pay for abortions like we have not paid for in the last 343 years. 8 -- 33 years. the usual exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother stands. the other part, part b and c of my amendment says if you want to buy a separate plan, supplemental coverage, state wants to buy a separate plan, they can do that. just can't use tax credits. federal subsidies. senate bill, christmas eve, senate voted and passed their version. next step is the conference committee. conference committee as you have been hearing on the news reports is probably going to ping-pong. basically that means house leadership's getting together. they are going to decide what should be in the bill, should not.
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they'll bring it back to the house floor. when it comes back to the house floor for a vote, it's a conference committee. you are not allowed to change t. amendment it, or alter it. you get one vote. yes or no. that they are saying they are going to try to do it by the end of january, first part of february. we'll see. most members i talked to, i talked to about 20 members in the christmas eve vote in the senate. these 20 members all voted for the bill. some were pro-choice, some pro-life. they are assuring me they are not voting for the senate bill no matter what it is. senator reid keeps saying, well, this is the best i can do. this is the -- the house will have to accept this because it's the only way i can get 60 votes. here's the differences between the bills and this is why the members i have talked to and myself have such strong difference was the senate bill. house would cover 36 million uninsured. senate, 31. major provisions, a year difference. when they take effect. we close the doughnut hole, senate does not.
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we have the public option. senate does not. they create two insurance plans contracted by the o.p.m., office of personnel management. senate, when you take away the antitrust exemption. the insurance industry and major league baseball are the only industries left in this country not subject to antitrust laws. if they want to raise their rates like they have on individual policies this past year 20%, 40%, there is nothing we can do about it. there is no antitrust exemption. they basically do what they want. very limited regulation of the insurance industry. they tell us it will create competition if you take away the exemption. house takes it away. how you pay for it? completely different. we had the million sur charge as we call it. the senate takes a look at the insurance plan, if you are an individual, your plan is worth $8,500, they put a surcharge on you. a family, study is 23,000 or more, you get taxed. that's a wrong way to approach
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it if you are trying to make sure people have health care. why tax the thing you are trying to make sure they have? the difference between the house and senate plans. deficit, we are not adding to the deficit. we are going to reduce it. c.b.o. says 138, 132. employer-sponsored under the house bill, it won't be government run, private employer. six million more people will be covered. senate is about four million. regional differences. the difference between 16,000 in miami, 6,100 in marquette. we do away with it. the senate leaves the system the way it is. if it's a broken system, why do we keep the broken system? the house changes it. senate keeps it. abortion, the stupak amendment, continue the policy, no federal funds for abortion. the senate has basically capps amendment, aportion paying for $1 per month. at least one policy must have t you can use federal subsidies to pay for it. way different than the house.
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that's it in a nutshell on health care. like i said of all the legislation i have worked on, all the legislation i have voted on, my 18 years now going into the house, this is the one that affects every one of us now and in the future. i thought it was worthwhile doing the power point and taking time to get it through. we have well over -- about an hour here for questions. we'll start with questions. we have large crowd. lot of people. if you want to ask questions, great, i'll try to repeat your question so everyone can hear it. ask a question. we'll move on and be respectful of everyone. yes, ma'am. the question is how can we use our influrens with the senate to get them to include a public option? i'm not sure because the senate's already voted against it. i think what we have to do and
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what i'm hoping for, because i really want to see health care pass in this country, what i'm really hoping for when we go to this conference, that they come up with an agreement, maybe to trigger, we get a public option, but the way the senate does it, there's nothing. the only thing the senate basically did, they said it was ok, insurance companies, you can only take so much for profit. a spersage. -- percentage. if you want to make more money, what do you do? raise the rates. if i want to make $100, i charge $1,000. if i want to make 150, i take that insurance policies take $1 ,500. hopefully in the conference they'll work it out. there are a loft other problems with the senate bill that members have. we felt this is a national polcy. this legislation should stand on its merits, on policy. not on what state got a special deal. not like nebraska where i don't
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have to pay the state share of medicaid on into the future. that's i believe unconstitutional. or do i get $300 million up front so i vote for health care? that's not health care. or florida, they are exempt, all the rest of the states, we lose medicare advantages, florida gets to keep theirs. why? we are going to do health care, we'll do this in together. the sweetheart deals we saw in the senate have to be dropped. if senator reid w. all due respect, i can't pass health care without the deals, it's going nowhere. public option, abortion, it's not going anywhere. house members are disappointed. like the american people and disillusioned with the way this was put together. two things i want to watch, legislation being paid and sausage. this one should stand on its merits and not on what state got the best deal. michigan's the one of the worst states economically. if anyone should have gotten a deal, maybe it should have been michigan.
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that's not fair. we are all in this together. let's pass it on polcy. -- polcy. i always thought they do a trigger. insurance either stays stable, they don't go up. no greater than the rate of inflation f it does, trig' public option. that's one way they talked about compromising it. that's something that makes sense. this side. lady over here. [inaudible] >> we are in the 111th congress, 112th congress starts january of 2011, they could come in and say good try at health care. you passed it. we disagree with it. and get rid of it. yeah. every congress has a right to
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review it. remember, congress has been talking about this since teddy roosevelt first proposed it almost 100 years ago. for us to get this far is historic. i believe at the end of the day all these deals here and there, this issue, even the abortion language, i really feel because there is such a strong sentiment in the u.s. congress to get health care worked out, it may not be the end of january, it might be the end of february, i don't see anything magic between january 28 having it done or february 28, i think it's going to get worked out. i think there is a will to get it worked out finally. maybe senator reid had to do this to get a 60th vote to get the bill passed to get it to conference. i'm hoping they get it worked out. i'm looking to the president to provide a lot of leadership in this to say this is a bill i can or cannot sign. if we can do this, work it out, he'll probably have the votes. it's going to be interesting.
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monday when i was -- as i was getting ready to leave i got a call from leadership, ok, you are the guy on the abortion issues, how are we going to work this out? we had discussions, we didn't reach agreement. they are reaching out. they are trying to get issues resolved. i think in the final analysis it will get resolved. i hope it does. but if it doesn't, as i said here today in the paper, if you bring it up at the end of january, it has things in there, maybe you do have to bring it up. maybe you do -- doesn't prevent 30 days later bringing back a bill addressing the objection of members and voting against it. i have seen it many times. there's time to do it. everyone wants to do these artificial deadlines. on health care and on any legislation. maybe it's good because you make members make a decision. we can procrastinate forever. but eventually you got to make some decisions and you have to make some decisions. i think we need a health care
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bill eventually. [inaudible] the question is will there be a conference committee? will it be full-blown conference committee? i doubt it. i think the committee conferees -- the conferees are going to be chairman of the energy and commerce committee, mr. waxman, mr. dingell the author of the bill, mr. rangel who is ways and means. the house side. and labor chairman, mr. miller. the ranking republican and senate will put their folks up. they'll probably meet a couple times. but hard core discussion will go on staffs and members on the floor or off the floor. but eventually that committee, conference, will have to put the bill and sign t will there be a real conference where you get to see it and all this, amendments? no, i don't think.
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they are calling it ping -- ping-pong. what do you think about this? they'll craft a bill and say here's what we believe. they'll present it to both caucuses. house and senate. there will be a vote. that's what i think will happen. that's what i think will happen. i i don't think there will be a true conference as we envision it. yes, sir. the question is, is it true that congress will have a different plan? no. no. same plan. any other employee. same thing. i'm sorry. general public. no. public option. -- all plans have to have the essential package. even though that members of congress or federal employees would have. they would have to have essential package. four levels, basic, enhanced, premium, premium plus. you pick which one you want. that's the 15eu78 federal
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employees basically do now. when i had my son growing up, we had the plan that had the bells and whistles. you had young kids. now my wife and i. we want a different plan. i'm a single person, i want want a single plan. we all basically have the same choice. yes, ma'am. the question is do i know when they'll -- yes, i do. insurance company, significant in a. -- signa. i have talked a couple times. we have done a couple of press conferences together. and they have shown us some of the ins and outs on the insurance industry how thief these 1,00 different computer programs that trigger reviews of your policy if they thought you were going to put in an
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expensive claim. then go back and review and kick you off. it's been helpful in some of the investigations i have done. some people think he's wrong. he's been -- he's a source of information i have used in the past. yeah. we are all concerned about spending. federal spending. stimulus. i sort of ask myself in the last five years where was everyone's concern about the spending? five years ago our debt was about $5 trillion. when president bush left office it was almost -- it was $10 trillion. it's been added a trillion since then. we doubled it in five years. i didn't hear a lot.
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again, not blaming president bush. we are fighting two wars and not asking anyone to pay for it, ok. we have done the largest tax cut ever was under president bush. i didn't do it. that was $2 trillion. that all mounts up. we have to pay for it. the president's budget says he'll cut deficit spending in half within four years. i believe we can do it. remember 1992 when i first ran for office, ross perfect roethlisberger -- ross perot, it's commit, stupid. remember that commercial? what did we do in 1993? we had big deficits. unemployment was bad. things were rough. we passed a deficit reduction package, very partisan vote. no democrats -- excuse me, no republicans voted for it. al gore broke the tie in the senate. by the end of president clinton's term, second term, we had surpluses. we had surpluses. the key is to get back to work. get the economy moving. get the income flowing in. and go back to things like
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pay-as-you-go. if you are going to do a program, you have to pay for it. you can't pass it on to future generations. that's why in this legislation the president said on september 9 we would not increase the deficit. that's why we pay for this health care plan in the house bill through the surtax on the millionaires. and the payroll deduction and monthly premiums. we can't say print more money to provide health care. do i think we can do it? yes. what is our debt, what is our deficit, what is that in the amount of our gross domestic product? what percentage of it? as our economy grows it's a large number, relative terms of our economy, it may not be that great. will it take time? sure. but i think we can get it back under control. pay as you go. yes, sir.
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[inaudible] you are right. that's a slide i should v here's what we did on the house bill. sure. the question was tort reform. i didn't see anything on tort reform. tort reform is one way of curbing costs. i agree with you. when the president addressed the nation on september 9, he said the same thing. he ordered secretary of health and human services in discussion with the leaders, what are they doing to costs? tort reform, state renew the claims for tort reform. malpractice. in michigan, michigan, 1994, we had the toughest tort reform laws in the nation. limits -- caps on damages, got to have certification. all kinds of restrictions. we are the only state that says if you have a drug approved by the fad you can't sue the drug
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manufacturer for harm. we have the toughest law there is. 1994. doctors were happier. here we are 2009. we have one of the highest malpractice rates in the nation but the toughest laws. why didn't it work? there's more to it than passing caps or limiting your damages. illinois, state like michigan, big city, chicago, we got detroit, outline areas. chicago, illinois, has never had tort reform. they got some of the lowest rates in the nation. why? it's just like us. industrial state, midwest. big city. why the difference? texas just passed one a couple years ago that seems to be working well. tort reform bill. so what they have said, the house bill said, look at these. we don't start until 2013. what works? how can we do it? one of the things we are in ciesing upon, very few doctors limit malpractice. why don't we list that. this will help you know whether
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this doctor is just shopping from region to region as some are known to do. those are suggestions. it's in the bill. you are right. i should have a slide on it because it's estimated it might be as much as $100 billion. if you go to the quality. remember i said quality as opposed to quantity. quality based outcome. that will put standards of treatment, standards of care which many of us -- folks tell us will help us establish one is malpractice, one is not. you don't have to do defensive sure. >> one of the toughest cases in this nation, mayo clinic, who is
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a leading advocate for this change. the mayo clinic. why? because it's based on quality and based outcome. excuse me. excuse me. it's totally true. i worked with them. mayo clinic, there are studies. they are the driving force behind it. article you read on mayo clinic about not taking patients is a clinic in arizona. it's a two-year pilot program. they are seeing if that clinic can stand on its own without medicare reimbursement. read the article closely. if you want the names of the people at the mayo clinic who testified before congress on going to this proposal, they were one of the big advocates along with many other upper midwest providers, i'll be happy to provide it.ç we have them. we have worked with them very closely. this change is going from
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quantity to quality with some tough negotiations. california, miami, why? they have the teaching i u$ey get special reimbursemen because they are the teaching hospitals. that's really great, but the teaching hospitals also cost us a lot of money in the system because the designation of teaching. massachusetts, new york, miami, san francisco we got it done. we think it's the best way to change the system to get some quality and even malpractice cut down. this side of the room. way in the back. >> current law, yes, right.my pact
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[inaudible] >> none of the above. >> current federal law says the federal government doesn't pay for public abortion.s the prohibitions that we have, that benefit we don't pay for, should continue. >> yes. >> [inaudible] >> we are changing the system from quantity to a poliquality based system. to get equality to the -- get
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quality to the american people. there are four levels. you can buy anything at those four as long as you get a subsidy. that has been a lot for 33 years. >> [inaudible] >> no. no. no. 40 to 44% are the ones not on government sponsored insurance. they have a policy. the federal government, those policies do not offer abortion coverage. the same insurance companies offer federal employees and some take a writer for abortion coverage. they are allowed to do that. >> a woman who might be [inaudible]
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and not covered [inaudible] she would have to pay for additional coverage. >> correct. pa18% of abortions are covered under health insurance. 82% are cash payments. it is a policy we never had. the only vote on the issue, 55% of the elected representatives said there would not be of benefit. they wanted to to put oral health care in the basic plan. that is a good benefit. the cost factor is not part of the plan. for children they will be covered but not adults. we are in the position where we
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have to choose what benefits we are going to fund and not fund under health care. this is one that we have chosen. after the amendment, two polls were run and 61% said we do not want funding for abortion. the march toward the americans do not want public funding for abortion. -- the majority of americans do not want public funding for abortion. let's go to the side. >> [inaudible] >> ok. >>
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>> i'll continue to work with leadership. hopefully we can get this issue worked out. . @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ we will talk some more. i hope to get it worked out.
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if this public funding for abortion, if we change current policy, i will read the bill, make sure if that is the last issue, i probably will not vote for. but i am not going to -- we're still negotiating. you do not play all your cards at the table when you are negotiating. this is an issue that we have the only clean vote on and the majority of american people do not want it. i would be hard-pressed to vote for something that has public funding for abortion. everyone always says no tax increase. i do not do this. let's read the legislation and see what it says. my record is clear on right-to- life issues. i am solid on that issue. >> i don't agree with the way
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the bill is structured. mandating people to have health insurance. there are no exceptions for va. [inaudible] why don't you take that money and reinvest it in medicare to make it more solvent for the future. [inaudible] we can't go to a doctor to find out how much a routine visit will cost. there are routine procedures we should be able to compare and contrast. what we do something along those lines, making it more visible -- why don't we do something along those lines, making moit more
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visible? >> the question is why do we do a simpler approach and why do we have transparency? there is transparency and it does apply to the hospitals in the house bill. i appreciate the sound effects but let me finish. wait. ok? all right. transparency is in there. i do not have a slide in it -- on it. if you want -- if you are concerned i am happy to send it to you. when i am trying to answer the gentleman's question, please keep your comments to yourself. we tried to do it on pharmaceuticals. that is the one that will save as the most money. we tried to get it, we could not
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get it through. it can do some shopping to see what is best. the simplest way to do this, i said this is the way to do it. those who do not have insurance, let's expand medicare and let people buy into it. why don't we start at 55 and let people buy in sooner? for the people who do not want either program, why not allow the federal employees health benefit package to be available and let them pay the premium. federal employees are all over the place. why don't we do that? that was not accepted. this is the bill that came out. i stinstill think overall we are competitive. we need health care to cover all americans for the last -- we are the last industrialized nation to do it and it is time we do it to make us more cost competitive and give you -- 62% of
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bankruptcies are for medical expenses. 70% of those people have health insurance. you pay for the uninsured. in your taxes for medicaid and medicare. we're paying for it directly and indirectly. >> that does not address the cost of health care. [inaudible] >> take away the antitrust exemption. why should they be the only industry not subject to antitrust laws? that is what the exchange is going to do. every insurance policy is up there. hospitals will have to do it but i think that transparency has to expand to drugs. the doctors [inaudible]
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should be there. the more power you have the smarter decision you'll make. >> thank you. >> i would like to think the federal government for keeping my brother alive -- thank the federal government for keeping my brother alive. no insurance company would cover him. he is a lot thealive today. you were mentioned on rush limbaugh on being more outspoken on health-care reform than any republican in congress. i you willing to sacrifice progress on reforming our system, by your numbers, 45,000 americans who died due to inadequate coverage. based on your position on one issue? if you do, does that demonstrate
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a bit of hypocrisy? >> the issue is will i give up that to abortion position and right-to-life if these other 45,000 americans die every year? does that seem like a conflict? it does. why are we changing the law in this area that is controversial? the amendment went through on november 7. on december 16, just about every member of congress voted for right-to-life language, basically the stupak amendment. all this stuff, we can do this and we cannot vote for it. they voted for it twice. and also, december 16 in the
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appropriations bill. there is what my language was taken from. what i am saying to the president and the rest of them, they are saying you cannot do this. even though the american people say we do not want you to have public funding for abortion. you just signed a bill that had language in there. where are you making this the hurdle if you are concerned about those 45,000 americans without health care? we're at the table. we will see how this works out. i think we can work this out. we had an agreement on this abortion language. everyone else signed off on it. they insisted on a boat. they had their rote. -- vote. now they want to take it away. i thought in a democracy, majority rules. we in the back. >-- way in the back.
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>> [inaudible] [inaudible] >> no. teaching hospitals. brett example, los angeles. ongreat example, los angeles. usc gets $60,000 in reimbursement. ucla which takes everybody,
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[inaudible] the other one, they take every one and they get reimbursed. what is the quality of care in l.a.? which hospital is going to accept you. we have to get rid of cherry picking. on illegal immigrants. . . in this bill it doesn't say, before you get care, show me your passport. you come in and get treated and that we will ask for credentials. win the -- is the emergency room going to be used by people who may not be in this country legally? yes. do they have to put forth rules
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and regulations? yes. can we cut down on that? yes. is there amnesty for people illegally in this country? no. there is still parts of it. we are trying to address those concerns. this side. >> you said a couple times [inaudible] how come polls show that [inaudible] [applause] >> it does rule.
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the question is, on the abortion issue. the majority of people have expressed their views and the polling indicates the majority do not want it. therefore, majority rules. the question as if the majority of people do not what this health care bill, why don't we just vote it down? all the information our office has, we have been receiving your faxes and the males. it is 50-50 for it and against it. when you look at the polls, heritage foundation is 85% against. if you look at others it is 50 or 60. how you frame the question determines a lot of it. when you say, should it be a public option? it is 40% in favor. should you allow insurance
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policies to go across state lines and take away the antitrust exemption, it is 70%. what i do before a vote on legislation is rated. i do my vote accordingly. are we driven by polls? no. when i say majority rules, it has been clear that there have been three polls on the issue, showing should there be public funding? 64 democrats voted with me. 24 were pro-choice democrats but they feel when it comes to public funding for abortion that is a line that will not cross. they will not restrict your rights but did not ask us to pay for. they do not fill comfortable asking the taxpayer to pay for. it is a different issue in health care. we do not rule by polling.
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>> [unintelligible] >> right. >> [inaudible] my question, you listed teh he different plans but you do not list the price for those. >> the basic plan and what has gone into it is said by the the basic plan and what's gone into it is set by the commission, which hasn't met yet. certain things, like children, under 19, dental care. everyone considers that a basic benefit. mental health probably will not be in there, even though i think it should. chiropractic care, is that going
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to be in there? not in the basic plan, maybe in an enhanced plan. the estimate is $10,000 to $11,000 a year. >> [inaudible] [applause] >> under this plan, if you have a health care plan you like, and you say you do, keep it. you're not affected. and they dumped you? then you go online and pick the plan you want. all right? so we're not going to pick it for you. it's going to be your choice, you say, i don't want any of it, you'll pay a 2.5% payroll tax.
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we're not going to determine it for you, you'll make the determinations. we're saying, this is the minimum basic plan that has to be out there and put it forward. you're being taxed right now for medicare. >> [inaudible] i've been told by financial planners, my financial planners, do not plan on social security. i paid for that too. >> i hate to bank on social security because it was never meant to be your retirement. it was a supplement to your retirement. if you're saying, social security is going to take care of me, that's not what it's been designed for. no one has lost their money in social security. right? you're right, yet. and the cost estimates on social security and medicare, both of them, we have more money going
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in than going out. and there comes a time, about 2018, 2021, on medicare, where expenses will be greater than what's going in. what do you do? the easiest solution i've always said that i believe we should do as a country on social security and medicare is make all income subject to the kansas and medicare tax. it is capped right now at about $94,000. so if you make more than $94,000, why should you be capped? the logic was, when they set it up in the 1930's, was because for your investment, you should be guaranteed an amount. if you make $1 million, you'll never get back that much in benefits. that was the reason. the administrators of social security said you can solve 99.9% of the problem if you make income, all income, your income,
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not cap it at $94,000 or whatever it is this year, every year it goes up a little bit, take it off. are there issues that will come up with social security and medicare that we have to change benefits or whatever? absolutely. if you are entering the work force, you don't get full benefits at 65. for me it's 66. that's different than what my parents and my older brother get. i'll take one more question. it's 7:00. i said i'd only keep you until 7:00, i'll be here a little bit longer, i'll cut it off at 7:00 but be here if you have questions. way in the back, she's jumping up and -- back there, yes.
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>> the level playing, field, how are you going to control that so -- does it continue under the government plan, 10 years from now, i'm going to need money? that's a big growth distortion. >> the question, if i can sort of summarize it, she says, if i'm a doctor, i go to school eight years, go to work, i come out, i'm lucky to get my practice, i get reimbursed so much now the government is going to level payments on medicare reimbursements from $16,000 to $6,100, what incentive p is that for the doctor to work hard and
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put in extra time if government levels the playing field and he doesn't see reward for his investment, time, and effort. is that faferse? >> right. >> and be a good doctor. we want good doctors because we want quality-based outcomes. remember just in the first congressional district, the uncompensated care the doctor doesn't receive because the people don't have money is $185 million. doctors and hospitals are saying, we have so much uncompensated care, pay us something. even for a person we see and the payment may be lower, but if we get payments for everyone for whatever we're treating them for, that's better than what we have right now, plus their administrative costs hopefully is going to go down. they spend time and effort and expenses in trying to collect from the insurance industries and things like this.
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administrative costs alone in health care is probably somewhere at least 30%. health care is a $2 trillion industry each year. 30% of $2 trillion is a heck of a lot of money that hopefully we can put into health care, not into paperwork. it's 7:00, i'll be here for a while. i said i'd keep you until 7:00, i'll be here for a while to answer your questions, thanks for coming out, thanks for having me here. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> coming up shortly, new jersey democrat governor jon corzine gives his final address before the new jersey legislature, his state of the state coming up at 2:30 eastern, about 10 minutes away, we'll have live coverage. until then, a look at items in
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the news and comments from viewers in this morning's washington jourge. the first call comes from strasbourg, pa. on the line for democrats. -- stroudsburg. caller: they not billable to walk away, but should be given help. these people bought these sums because they wanted a good life for them and their families. -- they should not be able to walk away. with the situation now in the u.s. i think they should be able to get some help. we helped everyone else -- i hate to keep saying that, but we did. take a good look at the homeowners. they tried to make their lives better. as americans we should help them not. host: ruth, what is your mortgage situation?
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mind is fine. i had a house before this one. my husband and i were very thrifty. i think homeowners where i am are worried about the taxes. it is killing us. the taxes will probably take our homes are now in situation. host: let's go to georgia on the line for independents. caller: good morning. i think the homeowners should not walk away. the bankers should work with the homeowners to re-fight their loans. if all we let all the american people who are under water in their homes -- what will happen? we will have such a surplus of the market. here in georgia we have houses
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sitting everywhere that people cannot afford to buy because the doors have any money. we have to help the american people. we are losing jobs. the bankers have to let go of the purse strings on this money and help people. the next fall we will have is the commercial market. it is all over the internet. we need to get ourselves under control. not all these people intentionally went to these sums to default. there is no way -- people have an american dream and want to own a home. that is what america is all about. i. in a double wide home that is fortunately paid for. it is older. i am so proud that i have it. but for all these people they must have help. the bakers have got to help them.
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-- the bankers have got to help them. we will have a homeless society of renters. i was watching a documentary with the intimate or for the mac that there will be a rent-to-own program. host: the next caller is calling from carlsbad, california . caller: my heart agrees with the previous caller, but my head does not. two parties are concerned, the party giving you the money and the party by in the home and taking the money. it is an agreement on both sides. the bank makes the loan on the basis of the appraisal. therefore, they have a responsibility as much as the person making the loan has as to the value of that mortgage. and i think that our financial
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system in general is in a great deal of difficulty. money is a strange thing. host: patricia, ow are things in carlsbad? our most of your neighbors able to keep up or has anyone walked away? caller: no, i don't. we're fairly fortunate, at least those i know. not having this problem. i do know in certain areas, in the farming areas, the bay area, that there are whole towns and desperate need of assistance. my heart goes out to the people who bought the home and good faith and are now losing it. host: if there is anyone out there watching or listening who has walked away from a mortgage because your house is under water, please give us a call and let us know about your situation. the article in the magazine
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section of the newly times" says the average american as it sprung from some franklinesque methodology is supposed to honor his debts. president obama has urged h.u.d. of approved housing counselors are supposed to counsel people against foreclosure, in many cases this means counseling people to throw away money. brent white, a university of arizona law professor, notes that a family who bought a
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three-bedroom home in california at the market top in 2006 with no down payment, then a common-enough occurrence, would have to wait 60 queers to make back their money. on the other hand on the other hand if they abandon it, they can rent a similar home for a pittance. >> there's -- caller: there's one other situation i've run into in my situation. i got laid off six months ago. i have a mortgage, i've had this house for 10 years, always made my payments. the unemployment now doesn't give me enough to make any payments. i have to make a decision on what not to pay. so working with my mortgager, if i make a payment, it resets the whole process back to zero, like now i'm current. so that before they will start to help you in any way, i have a
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15-year mortgage, i'd like to make it 30 or 40 years and i could probably work with it. >> how cooperative was your lender in reworking your mortgage payment? >> not at all, so far. i have to wait until i default. they won't look at it until you screw up. and it's killing me. i've always paid my bills. i'm not -- obviously my house is for sale. i'm going to have to, you know, i'm just strapped here. >> tom, given your situation, have you considered walking away from your house? >> no, i just -- my morals, like that lady said, i agree with her, i feel awful i can't make my payments but i'm up against it. >> in detroit, bill on our line for independents. go ahead. caller: yes, you know, it's kind of a strange feeling now, i've been off since november of 2008,
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and i just think it's unfair, all of the mess that these republicans have created, lack of oversight, and now, you know, i've been able, honest to god, i've been able to get food stamps, my unemployment has been extended, i've been able to save my home, and i think it's just unfair, all these cry babies, everybody, the republicans have created an atmosphere, people are talking about being scared and all of this kind of stuff. i've just recently got part-time employment an i'm taking my responsibilities because i know things are tough and i think it's just unfair, everything i see, when i look at wall street and these people getting
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million-dollar bonus for one year, that's almost as much as i'll make in a lifetime. >> thanks for your call, bill, sorry to cut you off. more from the article. they write, there are two reasons why so-called strategic defaults have been considered anti-social and perhaps amoral. one is foreclosures depress the neighborhood and drive down price, but in a market society, since when are people responsible for the economic effects of their actions? every oil speculator helps to drive up gasoline prices. every huge fund that speculated against a bank by purchasing credit default swaps on its bonds signaled septembercism about the bank's credit worthiness and helped to make it more costly for the bank to borrow and thus to issue loans. we are all economic pin bawls, in-- pinballs, incenseably colliding for better or worse. >> i agree with with you just
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said there. i think families need to look at that particular financial situation, just like a business would, and if it turns out that the home's going to put them under water in the long haul, they should get out of it. i think it's irresponsible for government to be telling banks and stuff to be shifting their bad assets off their balance sheets and the homeowner doesn't have the government to come in and buy the bad side of your mortgage. we're starting to wonder if they're going to do that with principal reductions. people should get out of that house. houses are expensive. you've got taxes, insurance, repairs. not everybody should be in a house and let's face it, you don't even own the house, the bank owns a good chunk of the house. get out of the house, start renting, save a lot of money, that's what i think everybody should be doing. i just want to say one other thing about the fan nee mae-freddie mac bail quout going on.
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they had that christmas eve extensioner of the fannie mae-freddie mac, how much money they could buy from the m.b.s.'s, from the banks, they just raised the cap over $400 billion. they did that on christmas eve. we have to let houses drop, let the market settle and then everybody will come in and buy and it will correct itself and the bank's got to go out of business. host: pam in baltimore, maryland, on our line for democrats. caller: hello? host: yes, ma'am, go ahead. caller: the article you read sounds like it was specifically geared toward americans who can afford to pay their mortgage, even if their home is under water. now it's not their fault, the individual american that their home is under water. it's the way this system is run. a lot of people want to blame, you know, minorities and people that they feel like couldn't afford these houses, that's the reason we got into this mess.
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no, the reason we got into this mess is they were appraising those homes at values they know they weren't worth and trying to make the dollar. i've been in the mortgage business and the car business and when they are pushing those loan, they don't care what you can afford. i don't believe -- it wouldn't have been my preference for it to be bail out wall street but when this president took office we had to save the economy. for people to walk away from a mortgage they know they can afford to pay is ridiculous. it almost sounds like a conspiracy with business and individuals who just want this administration to fail. you've got americans who would have paid their mortgage no matter what, for people who can't afford to pay it, that's one thing, but for people who can afford to pay it, they need to suck it up and get this country moving forward. >> with your experience in the morning business, somebody comes to you, a friend or relative comes to you and says they're thinking about doing this, what kind of advice would you give
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them? >> there are services available where you can find out what you qualify for, no one should try to -- should allow themselves to be talked into anything they cannot afford. you have people that are the professionals that are supposed to tell you that. but they will give you more because they make more. they make more off -- the more money they get you to spend, the more money they make. that's been true in this country for a long time, it needs to stop. host: kansas city, kansas, do lohrs re. caller: i want to talk about the cause for these foreclosures, i saw it when i was trying to rescue people out of foreclosures and get the homes sold before the banks took the house. the problem was there was a consortium of bankers sitting there waiting for the cherries to drop with all the equity. the banks did not want to sell the properties back of book when
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they could have. they deliberately chose to let these homes go into foreclosure because there's third party firms that make a lot of money to mitigate the foreclosures, to do the processing on the backside of these banks and then there's investment con shore -- consortiums of bankers that sit there and wait for packages of home loans to drop down they buy them at a big percentage off, then they turn around and sell them and they make money. the reason that we have this foreclosure crisis is because the bankers brought it on themselves. i have seen several banks turned -- turn down a deal on a home foreclosure i had sold because they would have lost $30,000. they would then go six months later and lose $60,000. >> are you saying there are
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people within the housing and banking industry that are encouraging home buyers or homeowners to walk away from under water mortgages? >> what i saw in 2000 to 2004 was that the banks were making very poor decisions as to whether or not to sell a foreclosure property for less than what was owed on it that they should have been liquidating them, getting their cash at that point, but they stood to make more money, the elite of the banking, they stood to make more money by letting it go into foreclosure, the third-party firms were making money, the third party firms they owned and then the investment consortium would pick them up. i saw banks literally drawing people into foreclosure, they would give them incorrect figures and tell the borrower that they could reinstate their loan for x dollars, then they would get every last cent from
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the borrower and then they would not reinstate the loan. i saw a lot of malfeasance on the part of banks and i want to correct one other thing. there is no -- the blame that people are putting on borrowers for borrowing on these zero-down mortgages is false. that was a very small percentage of the market, most people did not borrow too much, they went into typical loans, fixed mortgages, that is completely false co-eep -- to keep blaming borrowers for over borrowing. host: do lohrs re, we've got to let you go. thelma on our line for republicans. caller: the word under water is interesting to me. i wonder why they use the word under water. also i think people should take back the land. i think that the -- this is just another conspiracy, kind of like
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connected to the red, white, blue, and gold flag, the flag with the fringe around it we see all the time. the flag of the maritime military takeover. that's why they use the word under water. they can take these homes after we walk away from them and give them to china then, because then they can pay back -- host: thanks for your call, thelma. we're going to continue our discussion on under water mortgages and should homeowners walk away from them. this is based on an article in sunday's "new york times" magazine section. the other reason the right is for some of these walking away is because default debases the face of the borrower. once when bankers held a mortgage for 30 years, they occupied a moral high ground. these days, lenders typically unload mortgages within days, or
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minutes. and not just in mortgage finance but in virtually every realm of our transaction-obsessed society the message is that enduring relationships count for less than the value put on assets for sale. they go on to write, think about those who think a company is worth more dead than alive or the new york yankees and their world series m.v.p. hi deck key matsui, who parted company as soon as the cheering stopped. or money-losing hedge fund managers, rather than try to earn back their investors' lost capital, they start new funds so they can rake in fresh incentives. any company that defaults on bonds an chooses to let the company fail rather than invest more capital in it are practicing strategic default. banked signal their complicity with this ethos when they send new credit cards to people who
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failed to stay current on old ones. a caller from north carolina. go ahead. caller: greed has got control over everything and basically they sell these houses at inflated price you buy a house for $100,000, they loan you $150,000. a lot of people made it possible for them po to the meet their deeds to pay their loans and the bottom falls out. then they jack prices up again. host: what's your mortgage situation right there? caller: i'm retired on fixed income and government-assisted housing. host: so you're not in any chance of foreclosing? caller: no, but i see what's going on around me, though. host: next up, gary from indiana. >> may i -- caller: may i make two comments after i tell you what happened to my wife and myself as far as
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our mortgage. we, you know, the mortgage companies get an incentive, i believe, to work with the homeowner. here's what they did to us. we sent the payment in, they had paperwork with us, we sent the payment in, they mysteriously lose the payment, come back, put the house in foreclosure, i'm talking about country wide. now they're doing another workout with us. i guess to get another incentive. i don't know what the government is doing to, you know, as far as paying these mortgage companies, but if the justice department would get involved with the smallest details, in other words, i think they have to do it, they can't just look at the country, say, well, ok we got so many problems going on, we're going to deal with the biggest problem. i think they have to get involved with the smallest problem. host: are you saying the justice department should go in and prosecute these people? caller: exactly. they should go ahead and
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prosecute, stop some of that. with prosecution, people tend to stop doing what they're doing. especially, you know, these folks know that if the crime ain't big enough the justice department ain't going to step in. if the crime is big enough, i mean, small enough they think the crime is small enough, they should start prosecuting some of these folks, not just at the top level people, i'm talking about the lowest level folks. host: thanks for your call. we'll look at some other items in the news this morning as we continue our discussion regarding under water mortgages. this is the lead story in the "wall street journal," banks brace for bailout fee. white house seeks to recoup -- recoup cost of tarp. big bonuses put lenders on defense. the white house hopes to -- the white house hopes the fee will soothe the public anger at financial firms. most big banks that received public funds have repaid the government but the industry is seen by many as having survived thanks to taxpayer support and is now enjoying a profit rebound
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as the economy struggles. this month, many large banks will resume paying big bonuses to employees. other articles of a similar nature like this one, the front page of the financial times, obama set to target banks with new fees, the proposal comes as the administration faces increasing pressure from democrats in congress to take punitive action against banks. the white house is trying to contain anger in a week in which banks will begin announcing billions in new bonuses. one more. the lead in the "new york times" this morning. obama waying tax on big panks to trim deficit. this by jacque colmes who writes, the general idea is to devise a levy to help reduce the budget deficit which is now at a level not seen since world war ii and would discourage the kinds of risk taking that led to
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a near-collapse of wall street in 2008, officials said but the president also has a political purpose to respond to the anger building across the country as big banks, having been rescued by the taxpayers, report record profits and begin paying out huge bonuses while millions of americans ray re-main out of work. back to the phones, gal up, new mexico, on our line -- i'm sorry. rocky mountain, maryland, on our line for democrats. good morning. missouri, sorry about that. caller: no worries at all. absolutely, i can see where people would want to walk away from these and the reason being is because they were, i was in the industry myself but only -- i was on the escrow-real estate law side of it -- >> washington journal live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. we're going to leave this and take you live to the final state
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of the state address by governor jon corzine of new jersey this brought to you courtesy of new jersey television. live coverage from the capital in trenton. on c-span. >> madam clerk, have all required notices been given in accordance with the act? >> yes, they have. >> having been sent to the members of the house, the secretary of the state and the state house press and posted in accordance with the open public meetings act, i declare the house to be in session. madam clerk, please open the machine for a quorum call. madam clerk, close the machine and take a fallly. >> madam speaker, you have 39
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members present, you have a quorum. >> i recognize the senate majority leader. from middlesex county, representing the 18th district, senator barbara brono. >> thank you, madam speaker. i move that this joint session of the 214th legislature does now come to order. >> i recognize the assembly majority leader from union county, representing the 20th ledge slay i -- legislative district. >> i sec the motion. >> those in favor say aye. opposed say nay. the ayes have it. i am opposed be -- advised by the secretary of the senate that a quorum is present at this joint session. please rise for the invocation to be delivered by reverend bruce davidson of the lutheran office of governmental ministries. >> let us pray.
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holy and generous god we call you be many names and know you from the teachings of many religions. may we always then appreciate that we are a blessing to each other. holy words revered by many tell us that you require no more -- no more of any of us than to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you. instill in us a commitment to these things. which assure us will lead us in the ways of peace. bless those gathered in this place who hold elected office, especially those who assume new positions of leadership today. we thank you for the many gifts for public service that exist in this legislature, checkive
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wisdom, courage, humor, and passion for the common good. we may even thank you for the sometimes exhausting variety of opinions that are held and expressed here. which often force us to see things in new ways. today, gracious god we thank you for the leadership and the service of our governor, jon corzine, for his commitment to the people of new jersey and his particular concern for the most vulnerable among us. bless him in the days ahead and give him many days for joy, continued service, and renewable. now, holy one, be in our listening. may we be attentive to needs, open to opportunities, and
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emboldened by challenges. god, the past, present, and future rest in your eternal hands. your gifts are abundantly present among the people of new jersey. assure and inspire us to live in hope with confidence now and always. amen. >> thank you, reverend davidson. please remain standing for the fledge of allegiance led by assemblyman jack conners from burlington county. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, with liberty and justice for all. >> thank you, assemblyman
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conyers. i recognize the president of the new jersey senate, from gloucester county, representative steve sweeney. >> madam speaker, i wish to inform the joint session of the 214th legislateture that the governor has arrived. my colleagues, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor and pleasure to present the governor of the state of new jersey, the honorable jon s. corzine.
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>> ok. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. thank you. come on. thank you. thank you. thank you, everybody. please, please. very nice of you. thank you.
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want to do it again? thank you much and good afternoon, everyone. happy new year to everyone. great to be with you. warm welcome on this inauguration of the 214th legislative session. let me especially welcome the new legislative leadership team. you're a terrific duo, senate president sweeney, speaker oliver. i have great respect for both of you for stepping up in these difficult times. challenges have always offered the opportunity and i know both of you will accept that because you have great capacity to lead. and i congratulate you and say, godspeed. majority leaders brono and cine,
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members of the assembly and senate, members of my cabinet, governors burn, defrancisco and bennett, honored guests and fellow new jerseyans. thank you for joining me for my fourth and final state of the state address. if you don't mind, before i begin my remarks, i'd like to ask for a moment of silence in honor of a gentleman named joe keeley, department of transportation emergency services, who died yesterday afternoon keeping our highways safe for the public if you would. thank you. our heart goes out to owe's family and the families of all the men and women who have given their lives protecting the public. been to a lot of blue masses, celebrating how people lay down their lives for all of us and
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we're proud of them. also want us to remember all the men and women in uniform who protect us at home and abroad and are doing so today in afghanistan and iraq and around the globe. we're blessed by their service. senate president cody, speaker roberts, which i see here, i know i speak for all of us, and i mean this from the heart, i know we want to express our gratitude to you for your service to new jersey and its people. your leadership will be missed, but your contributions will be long recognized. [applause]
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>> i'm going to say, i hoped today would mark the mid point rather than the end point of my tenure as your governor. i've been honored and humbled to serve your citizens in -- for nearly a decade in both washington and trenton. those years have been fulfilling beyond my wildest imagination. even though this is a bittersweet moment, i'm filled with pride and fulfillment. most certainly pride for having had the opportunity to lead a state that so often leads the nation. pride in our citizens, the most successful, assertive, and generous people you'll find anywhere. and pride in the work, accomplishments, and record of integrity that this administration is leaving as a legacy for future generations. to this perspective i'll return in a few minutes.
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as much as there is good to focus on, i know we all know, i know, that the state of our state, like the state of our nation, and the state of just about every country across the globe, is being tested by the pain of the great recession. while the green chutes of recovery are sprouting -- green shoots of recovery are sprouting, these are hard times. hard times for far too many families across the state. one statistic captures the sheer breadth of the economic depth, the nation's unemployment stands at 10%. today across new jersey and all across america, families have lost or fear they might lose their jobs, homes, health care, and retirement security. not since the 1930's has our state and nation faced such a stark economic crisis. for new jersey, like other states, this means that tax
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revenues have fallen dramatically. the financial strain on all states, not just new jersey, remains severe. these recession nare conditions date from the fall of 2007. in these circumstances, we've had to make choices that in better times we might have rejected out of hand. i don't think i have to tell you, for example, what kind of politician would have cut property tax rebates in an election year? after two years of virtually unprecedented budget cuts, state spending is almost $6 billion less than at its peak. let's put that into hard terms. 17% reduction. current year's revised budget is hundreds of millions of dollars less than the budget approved in 2005. the arithmetic is not just about numbers on a page but it's felt in the lives of our citizens.
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under the exemplary leadership of our chairs we faced our responsibilities and made the tough choices. more are ahead. our new governor will need your help and cooperation and good will to make the necessary choices. an era marred by a partisanship that can poison our democracy long after the votes of our -- after the votes are cast and counted. let me once again congratulate governor-elect christie on his victory and let me ask the new administration and legislature to come together to do what's right, not for their party, but for the people of our great state. .
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for example, we can all understand that scaling back family care with bring back budget savings in the here and now but that may come at a steep cost in the not to distant future in children's lives. not reassessing our formula will help the books today but running the risk of a return to court-mandated educational policies. and as long as we're on the subject of challenges and real tough choices, no state of the state speech, let alone my last, could fail to address the great unfinished business of
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the past 50 years, property taxes. let's call it like it is. everyone's property taxes are too damn high. [applause] they are. to also be brutal plea honest, until we provide local government services, a home rule system dating back to the 17th century, we're never going to really get the job done. that said, we have cut the rate of property tax growth in half. we did that by capping levies and putting in place penalties and incentives to local governments and school boards, to promote consolidation and shared services. we expanded school aid and distributed it more fairly, expanded the senior freeze and put billions more into rebates than any administration in new jersey's district. but as we have grabbled with in issue, i have learned that only so much trenton can do without
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structural reform. and by that i mean constitutional reform. if we truly want to tackle the age old problem of property taxes we have to embrace economies of scale and do away with our outmoded system for delivering local systems. all this i would have said if i were about to begin a new term. but in the months and years ahead, it will be up to you and the new governor to act. now, i'd like to do something a little unusual in politics. i'd like to focus on the positive. last friday i taped my final appearance on "on the record" at m.g.m. studios. our distinguished dean of the state house press corps listed a lengthy list of my accomplishments, my administration's accomplishments. to my republican colleagues, don't worry, he was fair an he was definitely balanced. we talked a little bit about this little thing called the
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told plan and he may have mentioned last november's election at least once or twice. but when michael finished reading through his list, something really clicked and it wasn't about me. we've accomplished a great deal together. and the operative word is together. my friends in the legislature, both republicans and democrats, you have been partners in building a better new jersey. so have too the countless advocates, many of whom are here today, challenged to do what was right rather than what was easy. i thank all of them for what they have done. [applause] we're implementing a comprehensive energy master plan that will meet our aggressive carbon emissions objectives in the decades ahead. we installed more solar panels than any state except california and we're blazing a trail in offshore wind. we pioneered new criminal
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justice strategies that are driving down violent crime. including new laws that enhance crime prevention and help ex-offenders successfully re-enter our society. just this morning i signed into law the legislation you advanced yesterday that will finally allow judges more needed discretion over the sentencing of nonviolent drug offenders. [applause] we implemented highway safety initiatives, particularly for teenage drivers. they have reduced traffic fatalities to their lowest levels two years in a row since the 1940's. we're building a remarkable new rail tunnel under the hudson river that will offer relief to those who commute on our congested highways and strengthen our economy. we put a -- we ended no-bid
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contracts and we empowered an independent attorney general and a new state comptroller to investigate corruption in waste wherever that might lie. and on principle we made serving in my administration a privilege, not a springboard, to economic gain. we also made sure government better reflects the great diversity of this state. what a wonnerful state because of that. now men and women and minorities sit on the bench and in prosecutors' offices than ever before. when i took office, new jersey was far too dependent on borrowed money, and guess what, we still are. for years past, governors and legislators raided the unemployment trust fund and shirked the responsibility to fund state pension obligations. cutting taxes and increasing spending in good times, borrowing and spending in both
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good and bad. budgets were loaded with christmas tree spending and over the past four years, we've taken on an ended many of these practices. there's much more to do. much more. with your help, i was the first governor in six decades to cut spending two years in a row. we reduced the size and scope of government, cutting the state work force by over 8,500 positions and shuttering departments. we negotiated with public employees to require individual contributions towards the cost of their health care. we extended the retirement age to 62 and capped the pensions in new workers. these measures will save $6.4 billion over 15 years. this spring i negotiated and won unprecedented wage givebacks and furloughs in the middle of a contract. no governor in our state's modern history can make the same claim. we ended christmas tree spending, we put money into the unemployment trust fund and until the recession we put more money into the public pensions
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than any previous 15 years combined. we recommended and the people approved a constitutional amendment to give voters a voice on state borrowing. these are, these will be, these are important steps. but there's more to do. the global economic crisis hit, we didn't sit idlely by. we passed the first economic recovery package in the country, investing in new jobs, cutting business taxes and providing much-needed relief for struggling homeowners. last summer we pit in place a landmark economic growth package which will drive urban redevelopment, which e.d.a. food signed a development contract for the new performing arts center development in downtown newark. it will provide for college and university capital finance and brown feed renewable for decades to come. you've heard president obama and vice president biden say it, new jersey was at their table as they crafted the
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national economic recovery package. they look to new jersey for ideas and they use them. [applause] on these and other issues, critics will say that we didn't finish the job. and to the critics, i make a confession, you're right. i tried to indual office -- instead we're ending it over time. we tried to extend the pay to play ban to county and local government. we didn't have the votes. we were committed to meeting pension obligations but we wouldn't borrow to meet those needs when the state's cash position was at risk. to contractics, i say we shouldn't make the perfect enemy of the good, but that doesn't mean that we stop
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trying even when we fall short. let me acknowledge the elephant in the room. i tried to address new jersey's all-consuming debt problem. my glorious asset monitorization plan was the unpopular and unsuccessful. that said, those town hall meetings opened a painful but necessary dialogue the state must continue. a dialogue about how we pay for what we want. make no mistake, our long-term debt obligations aren't going to disappear on their own. we still must make critical investments in our infrastructure and they need to be funded. our debt problem is the product of decades of sometimes reckless borrowing and short-term budget solutions. if we don't borrow another penny over the next decade for highways, schools or open space, not one penny, our debt will double because of the power of compound interest.
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there's no easy solution. and my view, certainly no answers without revenues. doing nothing isn't an option unless the choice is to deeply impair new jersey's future. i take full responsibility for not completing the job. but, friends, that doesn't absolve you or future governors for proposing alternatives and confronting the problem. now, i've referenced many things we've accomplished and some things we didn't. but i also want to talk about the values that inform my tenure. like some of you in this chamber, i came of age in the 1960's. how about you, brendan? hard to believe that it's been almost 50 years since president kennedy took the oath of office. i remember watching his inauguration. i was 14 years old. we lived in a farm in central illinois. tommy will be glad. my parents were republicans, so they weren't too excited.
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but for me and for many of you was a transformative moment. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. phrase still stirs my mind. but so do the less famous words that preceded it when our new president challenged us to explore the stars, concur the deserts, tap the ocean depth and heed the command of isiah, to undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free. i think of the president's words and know why i entered public service. when i think back on that cold january depay and when i look at my grandchildren, i get to see jenny's little boy all the time, i know that president kennedy's imperatives must come full circle. in my own way, my own small way, i've tried to make a difference. i'm sure all of you have as well. for me public service was not about what kind of politics to
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practice but rather what kinds of principles to follow. for me, the most compelling reason to enter public life was to seek a better world for our children. like many in society, children don't have a big voice. sometimes no voice at all. and neither do they have a vote, but they have the stake in the future, the biggest stake. our children will define our future and determine our legacy. i'm an old-time banker, so let me try to explain it like this. we often think about deficits in simply monetary terms. being governor, you must weigh the cost of borrowing today against the borrowing in the future. some have a present future. some borrowing is for not. for me deficits should be measured in more than dollars and cents. there are deficits of deansy, deficits of opportunity --
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decency, deficits of opportunity, security and hope. deficits that can threaten our future as grateful or even as worse than a failure on a balance sheet. it's this belief that has guided my every action over the past four years. if we fail to invest in our children, if we shirk our responsibility to provide them with a full blessings of citizen shipp, and we don't fall short in our moral responsibility, we undermine our long-term future for selfish gain. when i became governor our educational policies was stymied over funding. we were locked into a series of court mandates that assumed the majority that at-risk children lived in a number of urban districts. by the time i became governor, decades of population shifts had made this view obsolete and grossly unfair. public anger was rising. half of our state's at-risk kids now fall in place outside
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the old abbott borders. many moderate to middle-income families were denied their constitutional right to a thorough and efficient education. so we rolled up our sleeves, did something about it. with my partners in the legislature, we passed the historic school funding formula that's rooted in the educational needs of each and every child rather than the arbitrary limits of zip codes. process wasn't pretty. i remember. in the senate the board remained opened for hours awaiting, searching for that 21st vote. we also had to defend our policy before the supreme court, but we got it done. [applause] we also initiated a $3.9
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billion construction program because we can't expect our children to learn and grow to their fullest potential when they attend classes in delap dated schools. last year i told you about my visit to newark's oliver street school. it moved me. the walls and ceilings were grumbling, the classes were dangerously hot on that day, special ed classes were held in the coat closets and six others in the gymnasium. and i remind you the school was built in 1869. ulice is s. grant was president. i don't know much about governor randolph. i don't even mow where his portrait hangs. i suspect right where mine will be soon. but members of the legislature, you stood up, we stood up and we did the right thing. last summer we began to demolition of the oliver street school. [applause]
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this year -- this year we'll have a new building and by september of 2012 they will have a new school. this isn't the exception. it's the rule. last september i cut a ribbon on the park avenue elementary where reformed s.d.a. took another delap dated 19th facility and turned it into -- 19th century school to a modern school. they are not abstractions of debate. they offer hope to the lives of real people to our kids. oliver street and park avenue are a part of a larger new jersey story, stories one of excellence and achievement. new jersey students outperform the rest of the nation in reading, writing and math. [applause]
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they attend college at rates that exceeds others in the nation. article reported just today are lowering graduation states -- graduation standards, we're raising them. i consider this narrative on children's education to be a cornerstone in my legacy as governor. it's also yours, and you should be proud of it as well. [applause] as a father and grandfather, i believe the first priority of government after providing for domestic safety must be to protect the health and well fair of our children. that means all of -- welfare of our children. that means all of our children. not those that are for the nut to be born into strong and loving families. if one child goes without
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health care, if one child slips between the cracks in a broken welfare system, we are all diminished by that pain. [applause] for me, bailout for kids is unacceptable. in new jersey we have all long believed that every child should go to the doctor when he is sick. it's his basic human right to receive the care, the vaccinations and medications he or she needs to start out healthy and stay healthy. in my time as governor we added over 100,000 kids to family care and doubled the number of community health centers. we are one -- we are one of only two states in the nation to have a child health care mandate. thank you, senator vitaley. these -- [applause] niece efforts are a real new
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jersey success story. but we didn't stop there. when it comes to our most vulnerable kids, there's no substitute for a strong comprehensive safety net. that's why we took a child welfare system that was once rated among the very worst and made it one of the very best. that's why -- [applause] to all of those that worked on it, thank you. that's why we passed an autism and screening mandate that provides insurance companies to provide critical care for these special children. joe roberts, thank you for your leadership. [applause] that's why we funded early childhood education for over 50,000 kids and are on track to assure an equal start to thousands for. the evidence is clear, preschool helps children develop the vocabulary and social skills needed for a
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lifetime of learning. it's even more vital for kids with special needs. it's no coincidence that new jersey's achievement gap between minority and nonminority students is closing. even it has grown wider in other states. now, just as education begins before kindergarten doesn't end in the 12th grade. together, we've increased funding for tuition grants each year, expanded the reach of the stars program so that every high school graduate is able to realize the dream of a college education. these are the priorities i've championed as your governor. [applause] we also made new jersey a beacon for progressive government. we doubled the earned income tax credit, tripled state housing vouchers and grew the state's food assistant program by multiples of hundreds. just yesterday you all courageously eased the suffering of many new
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jerseyians, president and future, by giving the opportunity to legally access medical marijuana. congratulations to you. we put an end to state-sponsored violence when we abolished capital punishment. we did so because in the moral words of dr. king, man must of all for all human conflict a method of resolution which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. we were the second state in the nation to implement a family leave insurance program because we believed that no one should have to choose between caring for a sick family or a newborn family and keeping their job. [applause] building a more progressive state also means extending equal opportunities and equal rights to all citizens. in 2006, we passed an important civil unions law. we did so because we value the
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principles of fairness and equality. at the time, many of us hoped that civil unions would extend equal rights to same-sex couples as enjoyed by many of you. like many of those in the commameber, i understand we fell short. i listened to the stories of those whose civil unions have not been respected by hospitals, schools, insurance companies and other institutions. i've been moved by the compelling argument that separate institutions can never be equal. our nation, our founded on the principle that all citizens, all many and women have a right to equal treatment under the law. i believe new jersey should respect that principle by allowing people to mary whomever they love. [applause] -- to marry whomever they love. [applause] i had hoped and i know how
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controversial this is in people's lives. i had hoped we would choose to embrace this enduring principle, to give life to our laws, to the ideals of our constitution. marriage equality, in my view, is an idea whose time has come. friends, i urge you to finish the work that we took up three years ago in the days ahead. speak of finishing up, let me sum up. as you might suspect, the challenge in delivering a state of the state address is that there's so much to cover. the challenge in delivering my last state of the state is even greater. given the movers are taking my desk out of the statehouse as i speak. it's a little distracting. honestly, i can truly say this is the second best job i've ever had. second only to being a father to someone like jenny. and a grandfather. [applause]
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there's no need denying what's obvious. every governor wishes he could serve two terms, but i leave you with gratitude, not regret. serving the people of this state and the u.s. senate and as your governor has been the highest honor of my life. i didn't accomplish everything i set out to do. i didn't execute the jobs flawlessly. i'm certainly not as quick with a quip as governor burn or governor cane. but i tried and hoped in good measure succeeded to make this state a more humane place for its children and its families. [applause]
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i tried and in some good measures succeeded in creating opportunities for more of our citizens, particularly our kids. and i tried and i hope and i succeeded in maintaining a level of integrity for which my family and my friends can be proud. none of us knows exactly how we'll be remembered. me polian once said people have decided to agree upon the past. of course, he said that when he was being exiled to the lifetime someplace else. but however history is written, from the bottom of my heart, i thank the people of the state of new jersey for the extraordinary experience. i thank you for my legislative colleagues, for your cooperation for being partners
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in building a better state. i thank my cabinet plebs. -- members and staff, past and present, who gave so much of themselves and carried out their duties with integrity in the pursuit of the common good. you're an extraordinary group of people. i'm proud of you. [applause] and i again want to say thank you to my family, especially my children, my grandchildren and my closest partner in life, cheryl, for the sacrifices you've made so i could do this job in the best way that i knew how. so governor-elect christie, i extend my sincerest hope that
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you do well. we hope that new jersey will be in better place. finally, to all of you, don't worry. i'll come see are you at the 2011 correspondents club dinner. if there's still a correspondents club. let me end where i started. as a 14-year-old kid watching j.f.k.'s inauguration, i could have never imagined that one day i'd enjoy the awesome privilege of serving in the united states senate with his youngest brother. my friend, ted kennedy, taught me a lot about public life. one of his finest hours was in the late summer of 1980 long before i met him. you know it. speaking before the democratic national convention, bruised but not beaten, in words far more eloquent than i could ever summon. he said, "for all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on. the cause endures, the hope
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still lives. and the dreams shall never die." as i leave trenton for the next chapter of my life, you can be sure, you can be sure that i will always continue to speak up for those principles that i have championed in the public square. when it comes to standing up for a more kinder world, when it comes up to raising my voice for our children who represent a common future, your cause still endures in my heart. your hope still lives in the eyes of my grandchildren and yours. and your dream of a more just and equal world will never die. god bless you all. god bless of the great people of the state of new jersey. [applause]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by natonal captioning institute]
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>> we see here governor corzine's website. a little more about something the governor mentioned in his speech. the legislature legalized the use of marijuana to help patients with chronic illnesses. it would allow patients diagnosed with cancer, aids, lou gehrig's disease to have access to marijuana grown and distributed through state monitored dispenseries. new jersey is the 14th state to pass such legislation.
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join us later for a briefing on the reallocation of the broadband spectrum for emergency personnel. that's live at 5:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. a live look at the u.s. capitol here where the u.s. house is in recess until 6:30 p.m. eastern when a roll call will take place to establish a quorum. this is part of house rules to get the second session of the 111th congress under way. and later this week, a bill honoring the life and work of the reverend martin luther king jr. as always, live house coverage here on c-span. >> american icons, three original documentaries from c-span. now available on d.v.d. a unique journey through the iconic homes of the three branches of american government. see the exquisite detail of the
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supreme court. go through the white house, america's most famous home. and explore the history, art and architect of the capitol. "american icons," a three-desk d.v.d. set. it's $24.95, plus shipping and handling. one of the many items available at c-span.org/store. >> the federal deposit insurance corporation moved forward today with a plan to penalize certain practices at the banks it regulates. a plan to open up the public comment passed by a 2-3 vote. this part of the meeting of the fdic board is about 25 minutes. >> i have been told that they have passed -- notwithstanding the fact that pay and bonus packages have reached precrisis levels. and while it appears that more of this compensation is being paid out in restrictive stock, it doesn't represent lasting reform. as troubling as outside bonuses
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are, this ampr is not about the appropriate level of compensation which surely is a matter for boards and the shareholders that they represent. it does ask, however, whether certain compensation structures encourage institutions that we ensure to fake prudent risks. and if so, should that be factored into our risk-based system? as deposit insurer for managing the resources at the deposit insurance fund, this type of risk evaluation is simple to our mission and purpose. i am confident that our work will benefit from the fact that supervisors, such as the federal reserve, are looking into this issue. i'm confident that the fed and here will complement each other. capital strength, asset quality, stable liquidity, these are all factors integral to both the supervisory process and our risk-based deposit insurance premiums. in all of these areas risk-based complements the process. with that i'd like the staff to
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tell us about the first draft to better understand the deposit insurance fund. so we'll have mark, don, rows and chris will present the -- rose and chris will present the case. >> thank you, chairman bair, and good morning. this is to public an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking for a 30-day comment period in the federal register. staff is recommending publication in order to obtain public comment on how the deposit insurance pricing system could be used to address risk presented by incentive compensation programs. both academic research and evidence from recent bank failures show that poorly designed programs can promote
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excessive risk taking and contribute to financial institution failures. programs that award immediate cash compensation based on obtaining an amount of income or business production and which don't have safeguards to limit the risks which can accompany striving for these goals have been problematic. the federal reserve board has acknowledged these issues and offered supervisory policy responses. the fdic in its soup risery capacity is currently working with federal reserve staff on its effort. the proposed approach set forth in this ampr is designed to complement supervisory efforts by rewarding banks that will have standards above the thresholds mandated by supervisors. we believe it can be strengthened by the fdic that reward banks that have higher standards. the proposed approached is targeted toward compensation structure and contains no features which would limit the
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compensation paid to high-performing employees. specifically, banks using programs that contain the following three features could qualify for advantageousous treatment under the risk-based deposit insurance premium system. first, a significant portion of compensation for employees whose business activities can present significant risk to the institution and who also receive a portion of their compensation, according to formulas based on meeting performance goals, should be imposed on prestricted, nondiscounted company stock. second, significant awards of company stock should only become vested over a multiyear period and shall be subject to a lookback mechanism designed to account for the outcome of risks assumed in earlier periods. and third, the compensation program should be administered by a committee of the board composscompoastd of independent directors with input from independent compensation professionals. using such an approach, the fdic can either reward banks
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that meet the standards with lower assessment rates or conversely could charge higher rates to those banks that chose not to meet the standards. the ampr concludes with a series of questions concerning the scope and applicability of the rule. staff has purposely remained somewhat nonspecific on several aspects of the proposed structure so as to encourage a broad ray of questions. does the board have any questions? >> thank you very much. >> thank you, madam chairman. i'm prepared to support this proposed advanced notice of rulemaking. the purpose of this ampr, as i understand it, is to seek public comment on the feasibility of incorporating the risks posed by employee compensation programs.
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i think in light of the risks posed by compensation programs, that's a worthwhile goal. i think the feasibility of achieving it is not small. and in fact, the ampr points out that while there is general agreement that certain compensation programs misalign incentives and increase risks, the proposals to address these problems differ. and some identify the risks posed is easier than identifying the appropriate solution to address them. i don't think this is an easy matter and i don't approach this issue with a proposed outcome. i think the effort here is to pose an open-ended set of questions and to seek public comment on the feasibility of undertaking this effort. and on that bay spiss, i think it's a worthwhile undertaking. and i'm prepared to support it.
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thank you very much. >> thank you. director curry. >> i also support the proposed ampr. recent experience shows that excessive plutonium compensation practices have had an impact on the depository institutions. and organizations' compensation practices are clearly a relevant risk factor in determining assessment levels. i think the proposed ampr is a good way for employee compensation practices into our risk-based deposit insurance system. i share chairman bare's goal of using risk -- bair's goal of using risk-based compensation packsages, encourage banking institutions to adopt compensation programs that align employee interests with other stakeholders, particularly the fdic. and, three, to promote the use of compensation programs that foster sound risk management
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practices throughout the organization. the fdic's staffs' proposed approach which describes three essential components to a sound employee compensation program is a good starting point. the use of restricted, nondiscounted stock with multiyear investing features, as well as performance lookbacks, all of which is administered by an independent board committee are key to sound compensation programs. the ampr's basic framework with the 15 specific questions it poses merit further public and industry comment. i think robust public comments will be very useful to this board as we develop appropriate incentives for employee compensation in the context of our risk-based assessment system. thank you. >> great. thank you very much. >> thank you, madam chair chairman. executive compensation is a topic that's drawn scrutiny from numerous corners in recent
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years as congress, the executive branch, financial institution regulators and scholars have tried to understand the factsors contributing to the recent crisis and how to prevent a repeat of those events. there's little doubt that in the mix some employee compensation screams encouraged excessive risk taking by financial institutions, both large and small, to the detriment of both individual firms and the financial system as a whole. legislators and regulators both here and in other countries are currently taking steps to address this problem. in so doing, however, they all confront the real and difficult issues that arise when the government threads closer to prescribing compensation types and levels for private business, a process that can also run the risk of substationally and unnecessarily increasing regulatory burden, especially for smaller institutions. while i believe that additional, carefully crafted steps to address compensation
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risks are appropriate, i do not believe that the draft ampr is one of those steps. at least not at this time and not with the approach currently presented. i have two major concerns. first, issuance of the ampr would be premature. congress has recently taken up legislation in this area. the wall street reform and consumer protection act, passed by the house of representatives in december, included specific rulemaking requirements for all the financial regulators. those rules would require the disclosure of all incentive-based compensation to the financial regulators and prohibit incentive compensation that could threaten safety and soundness or have serious adverse effects on economic conditions or the economy. there is every reason to believe that a senate bill would also address this topic with a similarly coordinated approach among regulators which makes sense. in addition, the federal reserve board is currently developing significant guidance on sound incentive compensation programs covering all banking
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organizations. with material input from the other banking regulators. this supervisory approach would not prescribe or limit incentive compensation as a specific approach as would the fee furs suggested in the ampr. rather it seeks to ensure that incentive compensation programs discourage excessive risk taking and incorporate principles and effective quality controls. unlike the uncertainty of waiting for legislative proposals to become law, coordination and consideration of the final work of the board is quite feasible. it would be very unfortunate to have an end result or insured constitution institutions and perhaps their holding companies were subject to inconsistent schemes evaluating the risk of nair executive compensation prafments i think we should wait until we have the results of the board's efforts before heading down a task that would be both unnecessary and inconsistent. this leads me to my second concern. i do not believe that a
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sufficient basis has been demonstrated to support the approach in the draft ampr. while the fdic's rulemaking authority to establish a risk-based deposit insurance system is broad, it is not limitless. the risk factors used in the system must relate to the, quote, probability that the deposit insurance fund would incur a loss with respect to a particular institution. citations in the preamble to works of academics and consultants simply do not provide an adequate basis to support the broad approach described in the ampr. nor is the review helpful to support the ampr's approach. these reviews deal with a limited an arguably unrepresented group of sfoogses, mostly smaller, when an m.l.r. does mention compensation it tends to be general and not specific. and when specific types of compensation is mentioned, the situation is overwhelmingly ones where loan officers were rewarded simply based on the
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volume of loans originated without consideration of quality. in contrast, the ampr's very particular approach would apply to a much broader array of compensation arrangements for banks large and small for which there is no impeercal connection to losses sustained by the deposit insurance fund. in short, i have substantial concerns about trying to address the real problem of risky compensation arrangements through finally calibrated increases in deposit insurance assessments. where there are clearly identified problems, i think we ought to address them first through supervisory guidance and direct examination and supervision as the federal reserve board process provides and the congressional process plainly contemplates. only if that is inadequate should we consider these measures. for that i can't support the ampr. >> it has long been a component of the supervision of federal and state bank regulators.
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the review is in the context of management. after the last crisis, interagency guidance and compensation was adopted that finds excessive compensation is an unsafe and run sound practice. fdic and other federalback banking agencies have the ability to supervise safety and soundness. it provides additional authority in this regard. it authorizes the appropriate federal banking agency to take enforcement action against any insured deposit institution which is about to engage in any unsafe and unsound practice. staff cites a series of material loss reviews by the fdic's i.g.'s office where it was found that compensation plans were, "a contributing factor in the failures of the particular institution." . the other factors included concentration and poor loan
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underwriting by the is institution. all of the failures also reflected supervisory -- in particular, low asset quality and management camel scores. staff does not focus on the other statements of the m.l.r.'s which include a reference to the provisions of the november 12, 2008, interagency guidance related to "meeting the needs of credit worthy borrowers." i serve on the fdic's audit committee charged with reviewing the loss reviews. and in the reviews cited by staff in this exercise, similar language is found. "the fdic and the other regulators have increased their focus or taken actions to provide guidance on compensation guidelines." referring back to the november 12, 2008, guideline mentioned above. the same language in a number of other material loss reviews
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goes on to say, "poorly designed compensation policies can create perverse incentives that jeopardize the health of the banking institution. management compensation policies should be aligned with a the long-term interests of the institution, should provide appropriate incentives for safe and sound behavior and should structured compensation to prevent short-term payments with long term horizons." . the i.g.'s statement goes on to say, going back to the november 12, 2008, statement emphasizes that the banking organizations is expected to review their compensation policies. to ensure that they are consistent with the long-term objectives of the organization and sound lending and risk management practices. we, in this case, i'm speaking for the i.g., consider performance bonus programs that do not address asset quality objectives to be a significant concern, which we addressed in our summary report, in that language i do not find a recommendation within those
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reports that would suggest that, one, compensation plans were the only cause of the failure of a fick institution, or, two, the existing statutory and regulatory guidance were not sufficient to deal with the issue going forward. that is not to say that there might not be some issues related to the utilization existing authorities by the regulators that could have improvements. in that regard, there are multiple regulations and supervisory guidance related to this issue already, and i quote a few. general authority to supervise safety and soundness. section 8-b of the fdia. again, i go back to the material loss review that talks about excessive compensation plans that is a sound issue. the november 12, 2008, interagency guidance relating to credit worthy borrowers which specifically refers to compensation plans that provide perverse incentives.
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three, interagency guidance required by fidica which prohibits excessive compensation, as an unsafe and unsound are condition. nen, we have individual chartering authorities, including the states, that have statutory requirements that compensation plans for de novos be approved by the regulator. in fact, one of the material loss reviews quoted by staff, they cited a failure of the appropriate state chartering authority to have accomplished that. currently, as director dugan has mentioned, there is a rulemaking related to compensation that could be available for interagency participation based on general, and i would suggest, a much stronger legal base. we have fdic's limits on golden parachutes which would apply to all institutions. pursuant to the proxy disclosure of the secretary,
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public companies must disclose how their compensation policies and practices relate to risk management and the extent that risks arising from these policies and practices are reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on the companies. finally, even if the regulation and compensation were through sound public policy this ampr is premature. congress is currently debating whether to require current disclosures on compensation for public companies. we do not know yet what knows restrictions will apply in terms of incentive compensation. excessive compensation practices at the largest banks and companies have received much attention in the press and otherwise is seen as one of the factors that cause the current crisis. i understand that there are examples of compensation plans where there is every indication that the incentives built into the plans are contrary to the safe and sound operation of the institution and to the -- and
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to good public policy. particularly in these times where the american taxpayer has been asked to bear significant risks related to the health and viability of these same institutions. i get that. but let's look at some of the numbers that is related to the, quote, average banking employee, in this country. i emphasize the word average. as reported in the a.a.b.a.'s 2008 compensation survey, the following positions across all asset size received, quote, averaged salary and benefits, as follows. c.e.o., $239,400. chief operating officer $152,100. chief financial officer, $140,900. and i can go on through the list of primary officers. i think those numbers should be kept in line when we start to see the reports on year-end bonuses from wall street
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companies. i also think that compensation, including incentive compensation plans at the vast majority of insured institutions, are well below the threshold that should rise or would rise to a level of concern by this board. i also believe that we've not done sufficient research that is between compensation and risk taking that causes a loss to the federal deposit insurance corporation as it relates to the vast majority of institutions. it is true that several of the material loss reviews of banks that have failed in the past year have referred to incentive compensation of individual employees as a contributing factor in the failure of the institution. but, again, it is critical to emphasize the word contributing in that analysis. so how does the federal agency begin to take on this task of improving a compensation system to determine if that plan is approved by owners or to directors, shareholders, accountholders, and other
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stakeholders? and i would suggest not including the fdic who i would argue is not a stakeholder but rather just the insurer in this matter. compensation has long been the business of insured institutions. or as directors of the fiduciary responsibility to ensure that compensation arrangements is not excessive given the resources of the company and the general operations of the company. in conclusion, i will be voting against this proposal for the three reasons. one is i believe it's premature. congress is currently considering statutory language which could, depending on where the final language is written, could deal with some of the same issues we are dealing with here. two, regulatory action. director dugan has talked about the rulemaking by the federal reserve which in certain circumstances could be an interagency proposal and deal effectively with the same kinds of concerns that we are talking
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about here. and finally, three, i need to ask, what are the limits of the fdic's authority to include in the base factors other than those out in 12 u.s.c.? are we setting a precedent for utilizing the assessment system for purposes beyond what congress intended? thank you, madam chairman. >> thank you, director bouman. it's also regrettable when we have a split vote on this board. but i must say, i think to take a position that we should not even be asking these questions is not one that i can understand. i cannot also understand why we need to keep waiting. we need to keep waiting for this or that. and in the interim nothing changes. so we just maintain the status quo and the longer we try to institute meaningful reform, the more meaning dissipates. we are simply asking the question, and there are a number of m.l.r.'s, the smaller
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institutions, that draw quite a clear contributing factor to bank failures and losses. we don't have m.l.r.'s for large institutions but a they got bailed out. but that does not mean to say we shouldn't be looking at this huge compensation systems at the larger institutions as well and how that fits into risk faking and the credit crisis which has imposed massive losses for the deposit insurance fund. we must rely on academic research by our own staff to determine whether there is cause and effect here. we're asking the question right now but we're obliged to have risk adjusted premiums and we're obliged to the federal deposit insurance corporation and we are obliged to try to factor in those risk elements into our premium structure. so i think there's nothing we are doing that conflicts what the fed is doing. it complements that. it doesn't conflict what congress is doing. congress is acting in a number of areas with regard to insured
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depository institutions. again, these are complementary efforts. they are not inconsistent but suggest that this agency should not do anything when there's such an overwhelming amount of evidence that this is clearly a contributor to the crisis and to losses we are suffering, i just cannot understand that. john, you made a very good inventory of all the different regulatory and statutory provisions dealing with management and compensation. but i must say how effective has those been? and maybe we should be looking at other tools to complement the soup risery efforts. i think the regulators have been criticized for not exploring the regulatory tools we have at our disposal to address some of the root causes of this crisis. so i think it is incumbent upon this board to fully explore the tools we have available to address risk to the deposit insurance fund, to the banking system which is clearly not within our authority but within our obligation pursuant to congressional directive that we should have risk weighted
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assessments. so i regret, again, that we could not all come together on this. but i think this is worth exploring. as vice chairman gruenberg said, this will be a difficult task. defining the compensation structures that we want to insent, either with a carrot or a stick will be difficult. if we move ahead it will also be difficult. but i think there are a lot of smart people out there that can help enlighten us on this subject. to not ask the question, i think, would not be responsible for this board to do. with that, have a motion with respect to the ampr? >> motion. >> second. >> all those in favor say aye. >> yea. all those opposed say nay. >> no. >> it passes 3-2. it concludes the discussion agenda and we will now move into a closed session. thank you.
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mrs. capito: [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> we'll have live coverage on a briefing that will will be on broadband spectrum. that's here on c-span at 5:00 eastern. . . this is 35 minutes.
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>> if i could ask folks in the back to come in and take a seat. it's a notable day at the u.s. chamber of commerce, i'm thrilled to be part of the chamber and lead the national chamber foundation. that's the part of the chamber of commerce that identifies emerging business issues and helps develop sensible business approaches to those issues so we can foster economic prosperity and create jobs. you'll hear more about that from our speakers today. the first thing i'd like to do is open by thanking our media partner, c.q. roll call group. they got together last fall,
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recently merged as this mighty partnership, we're thrilled you have joined us in sponsoring this event today. not wanting to keep you from the reason you're here, i'll turn it over to our media sponsor, keith white of c.q. roll call, took me a minute to practice that, and thank you, keith, for joining us. [applause] >> thank you, margaret. margaret mentioned, we are now the new c.q. roll call group. we merged last august and it solidified our position not only as the largest news room in washington in covering congress, but you may also know, many of you know, we're owned by the economist group, which gives us global perspective. it's of interest to a lot of folks in this room. c.q. has been doing this for years. last year, we sat at this podium and tom donohue, facing a grim economy and an incoming popular president he had not supported
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edeclared he'd work with the administration but vowed to fight the policy he is felt would smother american enterprise. the chamber had a numb of successes but the president also had success. c.q. reports that no president has had as much success over as obama, but as margaret and i were speaking earlier, if you don't like the weather, just stick around, and that's the way it is in politics. unemployment is now at 10%. yesterday, obama's approval rating had fall ton 46% an the political discussion has shifted to how many seats the democrats will lose in the upcoming mid term elections. in this environment we once again here from tom donohue as he outlines the business community's plan for what is to be the beginning of a fragile recovery. with a quarter century at the he
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will only d.c.'s largest trade group he advocates for over three million member businesses in the united states and throughout the world. his nverage, discipline and organizational skill he is brings to his endeavors are such that i recommend we listen carefully today because whatever the outcome, his presence will be felt. it gives me great pleasure to introduce mr. tom donohue. [applause] >> thank you very much, keith, and good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the chamber. i, again, would like to express our appreciation to his group, c.q. roll call, and to others, for helping put this event together. keith, i was taken back for a minute by the president's
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extraordinary track record but i remembered the important pieces of legislation aren't done yet. at the outset of this new year, there are some encouraging signs that the state of american business is improving. after almost go years in severe recession, the economy began growing again in the third quarter of 2009 by 2.2%. fourth quarter growth could be significantly higher, but we should not assume that would signal a trend. overall, the chamber expects growth for 2010 in the range of 3%. yet while there have been some improvements, we must add anothered or when describing the state of american business today and that word is uncertainty. think for a moment about the nation's job creators, the men and women who run our small and
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large businesses, as well as those who lead our universities, our health care facilities, and many other institutions that employ our work force. if you were in their shoes today, would you jump quickly into new investments and hiring? or would you wait for some clarity and some common sense to take hold first? most of these job creators would like nothing more than to keep their workers employed, to create new jobs and bring some hope and relief to families struggling without a paycheck. but when you look at what's going on in washington, in the states, and around the world, what do they see? they see massive tax increases on the horizon, not just the expiration of the tax cuts passed over the last decade, but also hundreds of billions of
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dollars in new taxes. they see health care legislation that contains a burdensome mandate on employers and virtually no meaningful reforms to improve quality and cost control. they see a climate change bill and a potential e.p.a. regulation that could significantly raise energy prices and impose new layers of bureaucracy on their organization. they see financial services legislation moving forward that could choke off their access to capital at a time when lending is already very tight. america's job creators also see a renewed push by union leaders to pass card check and many other measures to control the work force. they see a trial bar working
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with their allies in congress and many state attorneys general to expand opportunities for new litigation. they see the rise of trade isolationism at home and abroad that could threaten their export markets and now renewed fears about terrorism. and our job creators see the federal government planning to expand the national debt by at least $9 trillion over the next decade. more debt than has been piled up in all the previous years since george washington. they see many states going broke as well. what will the impact be on their companies and their employees? these are the uncertainties that job creators are wrestling with, uncertainties that call into question how quick or strong our economic recovery will be.
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and no one is paying a higher price than the american workers. over seven million americans have lost their jobs since the recession began. 10% of the work force is unemployed. a number that soars beyond 17% when you add those who have stopped looking for a job and the millions and millions of part-time workers who want to work full time. our nation faces many big challenges, but no priority is more important than putting americans back to work, and so the chamber is calling upon leaders in government, business, labor, and across society to unite around the ambitious goal of creating 20 million jobs, new jobs, over the next 10 years. with 20 million jobs, we can
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reemploy the unemployed and meet the needs of our young people and growing population who are coming into the work force. the first -- we first articulated this goal last october when we made it the centerpiece of our new campaign to support the american free enterprise system. we did so in part because we were troubled that policymakers in washington seemed to be focused on everything else but the creation of jobs at that time. today, almost everyone is talking about jobs and that's a great start. but talk won't create the jobs we need and over the long term, neither can the government. in his economic speech last month, president obama said, and i quote, job creation will ultimately depend on the real job creators, businesses across
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america. we hear you, mr. president. and we agree. so let's talk frankly and specifically about the policies that we must have to accelerate growth and put our citizens back to work. first, we can create jobs by doubling u.s. exports in five years and five years again. this is an ambitious yet achieveable goal. but to get there, we need a bold and aggressive trade policy, something that we don't have today. the rest of the world is not waiting around for the united states to act. countries are busy making their own arrangements with each other and leaving us in the dust. we all know about the political pressure against trade coming from some of our unions. but there is no excuse for
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america to take a back seat to global leadership and trade. washington is sitting on pending trade agreements with south korea, colombia and panama. if we fail to pass them, we will not only miss opportunities to create new job, we will lose a large number of existing jobs. south korea, for example, is ready to proceed with a free trade agreement they have negotiated with the e.u. if the europeans go ahead, and we believe they would about mid year, while we continue to delay a very legitimate study estimated that 350,000 more americans will lose their jobs. with millions of americans already desperate for work, how could any member of congress or the administration sit by and allow this to happen. we must also modernize our export controls, which today
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cost us billions in lost high tech sales. increasing these sales allows us to create great manufacturing jobs here in the united states. we need to fix the buy american rules, which have delayed stimulus projects and new hiring for months and months, while also risking trade retaliation against our workers and our businesses. we must seize the potential of small and medium-sized businesses to export. they already account, by the way, for 30% of our total export. we can bring thousands of smaller firms into the international marketplace if we assist them with expertise, trade promotion, and financing. we must also vigorously protect our intellectual property. the theft of i.t. caused our
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nation hundreds of thousands of jobs every year and threatens consumer safety and puts our leadership in innovation at risk. at its recent white house jobs summit, president obama said, and i quote, if we just increase our share of exports to asia by 1%, that's about a quarter of a million jobs. if we increase it by 5%, that's a million jobs. that fills a big hole and it doesn't cost us money. right on, mr. president. the business community is ready to work with you and with congress to expand our exports around the world. our second point is that we can create jobs by rebuilding america's infrastructure. our economic platform is running out of capacity and it is dangerously declining in quality and safety.
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to meet our infrastructure needs we need to boost public investments while working to ensure that the money is spent wisely in areas of genuine need. re-authorization of the nation's core highway bill is essential now. but it is the private sector that can be the main driver of new, innovative projects in transportation, power generation, and transmission. water systems and communications. one study estimates that there's $180 billion in private capital already available to build infrastructure projects. put this money to work in conjunction with public dollars and it could support more than 1.5 million jobs over 10 years. to unleash this capital, governments must clear away regulatory impediment and legal
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uncertainty. and provide incentives that public agencies include private sector participation in their efforts. if it -- it would take too long to build anything substantial in this country, and everybody knows that. the federal highway administration found that it takes 13 years for major projects to go from initiation to completion. the chamber is prepared to work with governments at every level to attack these barriers and remove them. we can then put americans back to work with private infrastructure investments that add long-term value to our economy and boost our global competitiveness. now, third, we can create jobs with major investments and breakthroughs in energy. one of the great rallying cries of our day is, let's create
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green jobs. while we share in the excitement and have supported alternative energy projects at every opportunity for years, we must balance our enthusiasm with some reality. we urge policymakers to do the same. the united states has the talent and the capacity to invent the green technologies here at home, but if we don't address the excess i cost in our business environment and -- embrace an aggressive trade policy or protect our intellectual property, the businesses, the jobs and the technology will go somewhere else. we should also produce more american energy on our land and off our shores, including oil and gas and clean coal, which would improve energy security, create jobs here at home, and keep our economy competitive. one of the most powerful ideas
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which we should jump on immediately is a rapid expansion of clean, safe, nuclear energy. i believe, by the way, there's a growing sentiment in this city and in this country to do so. nuclear power is a solution that doesn't have to be invented. we can use it now and make it a vital part of our climate change solution because it doesn't admit greenhouse gases. license applications have been submitted for 26 new reactors. if all of them were built, they could support about 240,000 direct and indirect jobs and as time goes on, we'll need to build many more. but whether other countries take -- but whereas other countries take two or three years to license a new reactor and less new reactor here takes five
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years to license and another five years to build. that's before the environmental suits start.ñiñrñiñr we must address these delays as well as the legal uncertainties and the financial risks that stand in their way. nuclear energy is not the only promising energy source facing such hurdles. the chamber has identified more than 380 specific projects across the country, more than 1/3 ofçó them, wind, solar, and other renewable energy projects, that have been delayed or even killed by the "not in my back yard" sheerry. it's time to end the unnecessari barriers. they cost jobs, threaten our energy diversity, security, and leadership. the fourth part of our plan is that we can create jobs by expanding credit across this
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country. we urgently need to find ways to ensure that business, especially small business, can get the credit they need to invest and create jobs.çó robust lending programs, a strong export-import bank, which by the way carries no net cost to the taxpayers, and anñr openness to foreign capital are all important, but the real question is how to fix and revitalize our capital markets. we must close regulatory gaps and take additional steps to protect investors and consumers, but we must not overregulate our markets and our companies, limit consumer choice, or attempt to drive all risk taking out of the system. businesses get the capital they need in very diverse ways. this is especially true for smaller companies. they use every possible source,
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from lines of credit on their homes, personal credit cards, asset-backed lenders and loans from family and friends. we must preserve these credit options. that's why the focus on reform efforts on capitol hill should not be on limiting the choices available, but rather on making sure they are sold responsibly by registered firms. unfortunately, the financial regulatory reform bill passed by the house moves us in many ways in the wrong direction. we are hopeful that the current discussions among the key senate players will produce a better bill that can be conferenced with the house. it seems like everyone in washington is meeting with the bankers these days. first, the bankers were told to build up more capital. then they were told to hurry up and lend it. then they faced the prospect of
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having their loans and financial products second-guessed by regulators, lawyers, judges, state attorneys general, and congress. and today, they learn that their transactions will probably be taxed. this is precisely why it's important to establish clear, certain rules with strong oversight and then get the government and the politicians out of the business of micromanaging banks and other financial companies. strong capital markets and financial services provide the fuel that would power economic growth and jobs. congress and the regulators must get this right. our fifth point to create jobs is that we must ease the uncertainty over tax increases as well as health, environmental, labor, legal, and fiscal policy.
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congress, the administration, and the state must recognize that our weak economy simply cannot sustain all of these new taxes, regulations, and mandates now under consideration. it is a sure-fire recipe for a double-dip recession or worse. now let me say a word about taxes. instead of this situation i outlined, lawmakers should enact tax incentives. for example, preserve the reduced tax rates on capital gains and dividend income. shorten depreciation and extend section 179 expensing. adopt a permanent fix on the death tax and address the a.t.m. tax for both businesses and individuals. now, i understand the arguments here. but you can't have it both ways.
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if you want to tax, you'll have a very difficult time convincing people to create jobs. responsible pension reform is urgently needed. it could cree freeh up billions of dollars for payroll without jeopardizing companies' retirement plans. congress and the white house should also seriously consider maintaining all federal income tax rates at their current levels for the foreseeable future. i know this flies in the face of some strongly held views, but taking this bold step would measurably reduce uncertainty. it would boost investment and jobs by leaving hundreds of billions of dollars in the productive economy. it would help small businesses and their employees succeed, since many of them pay their taxes as individuals.
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now the impact on the deficit is clearly a worthy consideration. but remember, we're not talking about cutting income taxes below what they are today. we're talking about deferring a massive tax increase in a very weak economy. a tax increase whose clearly intended purpose is not to reduce the deficit, but to pay for more spending. if we go ahead with these tax hikes, we will likely end up with even bigger deficits and greater economic misery. let me make one final point about tax increases. in the coming weeks, we expect to see numerous proposals for small business tax relief and we'll probably support them all. but it -- but we must also remind americans that larger companies create lots of american jobs. larger companies sustain
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countless small companies who are their suppliers and who provide services and to the their employees and larger companies have the greatest ability and pressure on them to move their operations elsewhere if america does not remain competitive. when that happens, small companies get hurt. thus it makes no sense, no sense at all to rob peter to pay paul. by offer one-shot tax cuts to small firms, by imposing massive tax increases on larger ones, we need companies of all sizes to succeed. congress and the administration also need to find a more rational and affordable way to address our health care and climate change. the chamber supports a health care reform program and has for many years. we have offered many positive
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ideas to the congress, the administration, and the american people. unfortunately, the legislation emerging from the house and senate is not reform. it's not reform when you undermine the private employer-based system while doing nothing to rein in costs. it's a prescription for fiscal insolvency and eventual government takeover of the american health care system. now, the chamber also supports strong climate change policy, both domestic, legislation, and a global agreement. but the bill passed by the house last year would tie economic activity in knotts and eliminate jobs -- in knots and eliminate jobs from one end of the country to the other. that's why a growing number of democrats in the senate are running from this approach as fast and far as they can.
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they share the concerns voiced by the chair behr -- chamber and many others regarding the economic impact of the e.p.a.'s endangerment finding. america's job creators also have to worry about whether they're going to face new union organizing rules. such as card check. and a provision to have federal-appointed ar by traitors force the first contract on newly unionized countries. as well as 90 other regulations being considered by the labor department, which all have the potential of upping the cost of small and large companies alike. we fought these ill-conceived policies successfully last year and we'll put -- pull out all the stops to do it again. the seemingly endless expansion of litigation also is a problem. it gives employers great pause as well. the chamber's institute for
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legal reform will continue its lawsuit abuse while our in-house law firm, the national chamber litigation center, will vigorously defend employees' interests in court. ladies and gentlemen, that's the chamber's job plan. yet we must also ensure that america has well-trained workers to fill these jobs. that's why we need a number of things. first a comprehensive immigration reform plan that offers flexibility for guest workers. we must also recognize that no economy and no society in the 21st century can succeed over the long run if it allows 30% of its young people to drop out of high school. the fundamental failure tears away at the fabric of the american dream and our nation's
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promise of equal opportunity. now, we've been working with school reform leaders across the nation work the obama administration and others, promote major reforms in k through 12 education. we're pushing states to develop rigorous standards on basic subjects and we're strongly supporting the administration's efforts to emphasize math and science at all levels in the race to the top program. so let me conclude with a few comments about how we plan to drive our agenda forward. first, i believe this country is ready and eager to rally around the cause of creating jobs and putting americans back to work. i'm confident we will find a lot of common ground with the administration, with the congress, and the states on this priority effort. we also understand that nothing
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grabs the attention of our politicians more than an upcoming election. last year, we generated one million citizen contacts to capitol hill on key legislative issues and we're just getting warmed up. this year, we plan to organize and carry out the largest, most aggressive voter education and issue-advocacy effort in our nearly 100-year history. make it clear you understand. we never get involved in presidential politics, period. we haven't, we won't. but as america chooses a new house, a new -- and new senator this is fall, the chamber will highlight lawmakers and candidates who support pro-job agendas and hold accountable those that don't. we also continue to make job creation the substantive center
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priest of our positive campaign in support of free enterprise. after only three months officially in operation, our campaign has already enlisted 300,000 free enterprise supporters, americans from all walks of life who believe that our economic freedoms are worth fighting for, who believe that free enterprise, with all of its faults and occasional excesses, is the only system that can create 20 million jobs and lead us back to prosperity. we're going to significantly expand the campaign throughout this year and beyond. we aim to create a new dynamic in this country so every time a lawmaker is prepared to take a position or to cast a vote he or she first stops and considers. is this going to strengthen free enterprise and create jobs? or will it undermine economic
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freedom and destroy jobs? some see americans' free enterprise system as the last great idea. an idea that has failed in its mission. an idea that is simply not up to the challenge of -- challenges of our time. how wrong they are. free enterprise is the next great idea. of all the innovations america has bestowed upon the world, free enterprise is the greatest innovation of all. it renews and reinvents itself every day. it is never old and it's never tired, it is always junge and it is always vibrant. that's because its strength and its goodness rests on the enduring principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and the basic human right of every person to
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be and do his or her very best. and when that happens, society is well served. thank you very much, thank you for coming, and have a good day. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> we invite members to join mr. don hew here. we invite members of the national chamber foundation -- [inaudible] >> up next on c-span, today's state department briefing.
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that's followed at the top of the hour at act eastern with live coverage of a meeting on using broad band spectrum for public safety needs. later at 6:30 eastern, live coverage of the u.s. house as it starts the second session of the 111th congress. >> about the meeting we're covering at act eastern, nexta.com announces they plan to ask congress to dedicate part of the broad band spectrum to the first responsers, firefighters and other emergency personnel. that's coming up just under 25
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minutes from now on c-span. >> the deadline is approaching to enter c-span's 2010 student cam contest. $50,000 in prizes for middle and high school students. top prize, $5,000. just create a five-minute to eight-minute video on one of the country's greatest challenges or strengths. it must incorporate c-span programming and incorporate different points of view. go to studentcam.org and upload your project today. >> did you know the number one free news ap for your iphone or ipod touch is c-span radio? you can get quick and easy access to three streaming audio channels, c-span radio, c-span, and c-span2. there's also a tab with links to all our podcasts, including
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"q&a" and "afterwords." >> topics at today's state department briefing include the possibility of north korea returning to six-party talks an u.s. loans to israel. deputy spokesman philip crowley spoke with reporters for about 20 minutes. >> good morning,ern. i'd like to begin this morning with a run down of the secretary's activities. i know you may have seen some of the things she's doing. i'd like to just give you the eastern standard times for her meetings and speech today. at 1:30 eastern, she will, secretary clinton will meet with japanese morn minister okata.
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at 2:40, they will have -- it's planned they'll have press available. at 6:35 eastern time, the secretary will deliver a speech at the east west center this evening. she also has a visit to the parole harbor and arizona memorial scheduled for 4:35 eastern and i do believe there will be pictures coming from that as it is open to the press. the secretary's meeting with foreign minner okata will be concerning a wide range of bilateral regional and international issues. they will discuss plans for commemorating the 50th year anniversary of the u.s.-japan security alliance. they will also, of course, discuss base realignment. they find that this will be a good time to talk about wider
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issues such as north korea, iran, and burma, as well as engagement with china. for other state department envoys and actors that we've been keeping you updated on, ambassador king is today in the public of korea. he met with members of the public of korea national -- member os they have republic of korea national center and surged -- urged a strong u.s.-republic of korea is needed on all policy,, including human rights he travels to tokyo later in the week. senator mitchell, excuse me, is in brussels today he had meetings with the e.u. political and security committee. the paris group, and then had
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bilateral meetings with e.u. foreign affairs chief, with tony blair and with the spanish foreign minister. tomorrow he will have a quartet meeting at the envoy level. special representative holbrooke is in -- is on his way and should be landing shortly in islamabad. he, this morning, was in abu dhabi where he had a meeting of the special representatives international network hosted by the u.a.e. the foreign ministers of afghanistan, pakistan and the u.a.e. and jordan also attended, as well as several g.c.c. countries and a portion of the meeting this morning, the network is one which meets regularly and is important mechanism for building support for the governments of afghanistan and pakistan.
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to the western hemisphere. assistant secretary valenzuela is in chile today. he will be meeting the president and will have separate meetings with the minister of foreign affairs fernandez and minister of finance velasco. he also plans to meet with presidential candidate eduardo frye and sebastian connaro and other political leaders in his visit. his visit is important because he will sign, on behalf of the united states, a new extradition treaty between the united states and chile as well as a memorandum of understanding on development and cooperation between the government of the united states and the government of the republic of chile. with those several announcements, i'll take your questions. >> can you give us an update on your secret program to
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assassinate nuclear -- ianian -- iranian nuclear scientists? >> i believe we have responded to this sort of question earlier today. the idea the discussion charged that the united states had anything to do with a murder in tehran today is absurd. >> what is your best guess as to why the charge would be made in the first place? >> i'm not going to guess on this instance or other instances where charges are hurled about willy nily. the fact remains, we are working within prescribed diplomatic channels to engage the government of iran on their behavior, their nuclear program is of particular concern to us, as you know, and that is what we are working with the government on.
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>> this particular group that says they are responsible for it, the royal association of iran, in the past they said they are based in los angeles. is this something the u.s. is looking into? >> i am unaware that this group has made any claim whatsoever. i will look into it and see if i can get back to you on anything. the fact remains, the charges that the united states has any connection with this murder in tehran is absurd. >> do you have any information on this man at all and why he might be a target? >> we don't have people on the ground in tehran, as you all know. we therefore rely on allies and partners who may have embassies or missions on the ground to share with they may know with us. at the moment, i don't have any more information. we are asking friends and ally what is they may know. no decision on -- sorry, no
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information i've seen has come in at this point. that i could share with you. >> it's false correct? >> yes. >> you spoke about, she'll be talking about burma with the prime minister. what specific issues? >> i think it is a broad review of burma and mow howe we can engage burma to encourage the -- encourage them to change their policies, change tactic, welcome an opposition an allow the development of a democratic society. specific under that, we'll be looking at how we can further support -- but i think we're looking at the broad brush on this particular talk. the next elections will be something that could be discussed. i don't have the exact agenda. but if there is time, i'm sure they would get to that.
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>> what is the position on the wall being bit along the board er? >> we have seen that egypt is carrying out activities which will help stop weapons smuggling into gaza. we believe that weapons smauging -- smuggling should stop and measures taken to stop that weapons smuggling should be -- could be carried out, yes. >> aside from the weapons going through those tunnels, there's also humanitarian aid and food going through. >> we support greater access for humanitarian supplies to get into gaza. there are established channels for that and those established channels should not be hindered by hamas or any party in gaza. we do support the humanitarian supplies flowing into gaza. >> you'd like to see the egyptians open the border for
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aid then? >> we'd like to see hamas to stop using the border crossings as methods for struggling -- smuggling in weapons and let's get the weapons smuggling stopped but look for ways to improve the lives of ordinary gaza zanns. >> can you speak about the political scope of the wall. it's creating a political rift inside egypt's parliament as well as the upcoming election. they view this wall being built as a possible hindrance to egypt acting as an honest broker through the peace process. is that a concern to you? >> we will continue to work with egypt as one of the parties that has much influence in the region and has been working to try to get the parties back to the negotiating table. that is our concern right now. we want to see the parties are return to the negotiating table and start talking about the issues that will lead to a
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settlement or that cab lead to a settlement for reactions or divisions within egypt, i review you to the government of egypt for that. >> but hamas an the majority of the eyippings parliament believe this wall will be a huge problem for the peace process and will hinder negotiations. having said that, do you support the wall being built? >> i think i've given you this position, that we need to stop weapons smuggling into gaza and this wall is being built in that effort. >> what kind of sanctions from political directors will discuss on saturday? in new york? >> well, i -- i don't know that anybody's given an exact detail. the agenda for the next p-5 plus one meeting which will take place toward the end of this week. what will be discussed, of
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course, is ideas that any of the partners have on how we can get iran to live up to its international obligations, on which of the two tracks needs to be pushed at this time. we will be looking at specific measures, of course, i think we will bring our ideas to the table as well as our other partners and discuss those but let's let the meeting take place first before we start talking about what it is that they may come up with. this is going to be a very long process. we are starting our discussions. they will be deliberate, they will be deliberative. and we'll move on from there. >> this is a very long -- this has been a long process, numerous years. how long is it going to be? >> we will continue. >> and while you guys have been talking away, chatting, the iranians have continued to enrich.
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how much long her >> the iranian nuclear program has continued and we have continued to oppose it. it is our goal to get iran to live up to its international obligations. to do that, we feel that the two track approach is the best approach. we will continue to work at it as long as it takes to achieve the objectives. and we will continue to look at bolt tracks and seriously look at both tracks in order to better target not only whatever sanctions might be affected but also to look at those other incentives. we have a very good deal on the table right now with the t.r.r. we continue to say that iran should accept that deal an help build the confidence that we all need to accept that its nuclear program is, as it says, for peaceful means not otherwise. >> the secretary the other day talked to, in general terms
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about the approach that the united states has right now concerning sanctions and she was saying that there's a small leadership group, she seemed to be implying, or at least we inferred, that it was the revolutionary guard corps. could you expand -- was that what she was talking about? is the policy now or the approach strategy of the united states to zero in specifically on that group? >> our policy right now is to have a p-5 plus one meeting and talk through a range of options and ideas with our partners and come to some conclusions, after that, on which we might be able to move forward. the secretary's remarks stand for themselves. i don't think i need to go into them any further in advance of the meeting. i'm sure that following the meeting, we may have something to say, but i do want to reiterate that this is a start
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of the process, that we are going to deliberate, we are going to have more meetings of the p-5 plus one, and we are going to continue to look for a satisfactory resolution to getting our goals met as far as iran's nuclear program is concerned. >> in general, the debate always is, if you had sanctions, they could hurt average people and if you target it, you get the people that might be -- >> and i do agree and we do agree. our differences are not with the people of iran. our differences are not with iran having a peaceful civilian nuclear program. iran's internationaling or -- obligations would allow it to have a peaceful solution -- nuclear program to provide energy. iran's behavior heretofore has
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not built any confidence that their stated objectives mesh with what we've seen on the ground. we need to get to a point where we do have confidence that what they say they are doing is exactly what they are doing. in order to do that, they need to live up to their agreed international obligations so that we can verify those things that they've been saying. same subject? >> yeah, egypt if you don't mind. >> same subject was iran? >> i'm sorry. are you confident that egypt will be able to help negotiate with the peace process? >> egypt is a -- one of our partners in the peace process. we are working not only with egypt but with jordan, last week, we had meetings at a very senior level, at the secretary level and foreign minister level, at the state department. we continue to move forward to work for a way to get the
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parties back to the table and restart negotiations. >> any comments on the american citizens who are being on the streets last week during the peaceful demonstration? >> i don't have anything for you at the moment. >> are you concerned the egyptian police were beating american women on the street there? >> i will look and see if we have more information? >> no one contacted the state department? >> it doesn't mean no one contacted the state department. i wasn't given anything to respond to your question at the moment. i will try and do so. >> japan. >> japan is a different subject, yes. >> japanese plime minister. japanese president made a campaign pledge he would remove the marine base from ock gnaw what. what -- from okinawa. what is secretary clinton hoping to achieve in the meeting today, maybe not to move the base from
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okinawa and move the marines from guam? >> we have an adwreement on the table. the japanese government is considering that agreement. the secretary and the foreign minister will, of course, discuss that agreement today and the secretary may come away with a better understanding of where the japanese government is in its review at present. but the meeting is not solely about this one particular issue. the meeting is going to be about a broad range of issues that concern one of our oldest and closest allies in asia. we're going to be talking about afghanistan. we will be talking about iran. we'll be talking about the six-party talks. we will be talking, as i mentioned earlier, about burma. we have with japan a full range of bilateral issues and
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multilateral issues, a portfolio, if you will, that one would expect of two mature democracies who have worked together over many, many years on a number of different issues. this particular issue of the base is something we'll work through. the u.s. believes we have a good agreement on the table, the japanese is considering that agreement. as they move forward with their democratic process, we'll follow and respond as they come to us with ideas. >> any idea what the secretary may come away with after the meeting? >> we'll let the meeting happen. >> any expectations? what's next -- >> the expectation that i have of the meeting is that we will freely and frankly discuss all of our bilateral and multilateral issues and come away with an agreement that we will work together now and in the future. >> what is the agreement put on the table though? >> the rebasing agreement is there. i don't have the details at hand
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for you. i can try to get those to you at some point. >> do you want to go so far as to call it a productive meeting before it happens? >> always productive, talking to our allies. >> twice you've said, this will be a very long process, it will be deliberative, this is the start of a long process. so it's going to take a while. however, when we got around new year's day, we were seized with the idea that this is a deadline and that the president made this a priority. there was a sense of urgency about it. does this mean there was no real deadline, that this is going to continue to go on? >> you know, i wouldn't characterize it that way at all. we do have a sense of urgency. we do want to stop iran from develop agnew clear weapons capability. that is an urgent matter. but it's not one to be approached in a headlong rush. now, i know that you can say we have been at this for some
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years. that is true. we will go about it in a deliberative way in order to produce effective results. >> yesterday, we were asked -- you were asked -- the issue of human rights is important to the state department. flst an annual review, obviously, handed over to the congress are you hopeful or have you received -- received any indication that there may be a review of the judge's decision? >> we haven't received any review -- received any information that there will be, we would welcome a review of the judge's decision to ensure that the demands of justice are fully met. >> [inaudible] >> for special representative
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holbrooke? the issues are that we are trying to build support for the governments of afghanistan and pakistan among the international community by coordinating the various levels of support and providing a forum for open discussion. that is the purpose of the group. i don't have a specific outcome of the meeting for you at this time. >> are they related issues? >> they are, indeed. ambassador holbrooke is coordinating the civilian side of our engagement in afghanistan. other questions? >> we're going live now to a briefing on efforts to reserve part of the broad band spectrum for public safety purposes. the move would allow the creation of a nationwide network to be used by local police, fire, and medical personnel. we can see they're getting ready
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to start, live coverage on c-span. >> the international association of fire chiefs, chief russell lane, immediate fast president of the chiefs of police, sheriff paul fitzgerald, of the national sheriff's association. mr. dick murgon, president, association of public safety officials. rick gallos. also obviously with us tonight, my friend and colleague, kathy hi near of the washington, d.c. police department. we have deputy bill casey of th

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